Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel cannot wait for the transfer window to close so the Neymar saga can be put to bed – for the time being at least.
The Brazilian, who is yet to play this season, has been repeatedly linked with a return to Spain with either former club Barcelona or Real Madrid, but his future remains unresolved.
The European window closes on September 2 and for Tuchel, whose side travel to Metz in Ligue 1 on Friday night, that date cannot come soon enough.
Asked if he had set a deadline for a deal for Neymar, he said: “You think we made a deadline? It’s a little late for a deadline, right? Now, it’s September 2, right?”
Tuchel admitted the lack of clarity over his star player’s next move was hampering him.
“It changes everything, but what can I say?” he told a press conference, according to Le Parisien.
“Everyone knows my opinion. You know that it’s not the coach who decides everything in a situation like this, in a big club, with a big, big player. It’s a situation with a lot of parties. The first goal is to arrive on September 3 and after that we can think about the composition of this team. I do not want that, but it’s the reality in football.”
Tuchel is determined to remain calm amid the frenzy of the last few days of the window, though.
“The situation in the world of football can sometimes be crazy, so it’s not the time to lose your head,” said the German, who refused to comment on a possible move for Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele, whom he coached at Borussia Dortmund.
“We have to work with the fact anything can happen in the next four days, or the situation could stay as it is. I have to stay focused on the things I can influence: training, the team and the preparation for tomorrow’s match.”
Neymar will not feature against Metz, although he is not on PSG’s extensive injury list, which includes forwards Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe as well as Julian Draxler, Thilo Kehrer, Ander Herrera and Abdou Diallo.
“I don’t think the intensity of a pre-season is dangerous,” Tuchel said when asked about the number of injuries so early in the campaign.
“But at the end of a season where the players at big European clubs play in 20-team leagues, play two domestic cup competitions, have Champions League matches and international games with their country – that volume of games increases the risk of injuries, but there isn’t just one reason to explain it.”
PSG travel to Metz having already tasted defeat in the league, to leaders Rennes, although they bounced back to beat Toulouse last time out.
Top-flight new boys Metz have four points from their opening three games.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery insists Mesut Ozil will still be at the club after the European transfer window shuts.
Ozil has yet to feature for the Gunners this season due to safety concerns and then an illness, which kept him out of last week’s defeat at Liverpool, and there has been speculation over his future.
But Emery insists the German, who has been declared available for Sunday’s north London derby, will still be an Arsenal player after Monday night’s continental deadline.
“We are not speaking about the possibility for Mesut to leave,” he said.
“We finished here our transfer window and in Europe it is going to finish on Monday.
“We cannot sign another player but we have some players who have a possibility to leave in the four days before the transfer window closes.
“The club is working, some players know the situation and my focus and the team’s focus is to prepare for the match on Sunday and exclusively on Sunday.”
Not only will Ozil still be at the Emirates next week, he could also be involved against Tottenham on Sunday afternoon.
“This week he is training well, he is progressing physically and he is training and doing normal work with us.
“He is going to be closer to us and he will be available on Sunday. It is good news.”
One of those players who could leave is Nacho Monreal, who is reportedly set to join Real Sociedad, and Emery hinted it could happen.
He curtly said: “Yes, there is a possibility.”
Arsenal take on Spurs at the Emirates looking for a repeat of a 4-2 Premier League win last December and will be hoping to capitalise against a team who have not started the season particularly well.
It is a blockbusting early-season game and one that Emery says the whole world will be watching.
“For us to play matches like last week against Liverpool, this week against Tottenham, the two Champions League finalists is amazing, and it is the best test,” he said.
“Every time is a good moment to play against them and on Sunday with our supporters, it is the best moment to play and enjoy with our supporters.
“On Sunday, that match is the best football match in the world for all football supporters.”
There was some positive injury news as Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and new signing Kieran Tierney should all be available after the international break.
On Holding, Emery said: “He is training with us, he played with the Under-23s but he is not 100 per cent to play with us on Sunday.
“We are playing him with the Under-23s and training with us and each day we are testing his performances.
“Each day he is getting better, he can play but not with the intensity we need for Sunday.”
And the Spaniard says Bellerin and Holding will get closer attention during the forthcoming international break.
“We have to be calm but also we have to be demanding with their recovery, because we need them,” Emery said.
“That international break is going to give us two weeks to test them better than before, because now my focus with the team is the players that will be available on Sunday and to prepare with them.
“After that match, we will test different players and how they can be closer to us, to the team, to start playing with us.”
Following much speculation this summer, the Neymar transfer saga is finally reaching its conclusion with Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain reaching an agreement, according to gianlucadimarzio.com.
The Brazilian is set to return to Camp Nou just two years on from his departure to PSG for a record €222 million.
In two seasons with the Parisians, Neymar has scored 51 goals in 58 appearances for the club but is now set to play in Barcelona colours again after pushing through a move this summer.
An agreement have been reached between the clubs and the Catalans have also settled personal terms with the player.
All the necessary signatures will be made in the coming hours to complete the deal before the European transfer deadline.