Thomas Tuchel has offered no guarantees either Neymar or Kylian Mbappe will both be at PSG next summer amid claims in the Spanish media that the star duo don’t get on and no longer want to play together.
World Cup winner Mbappe won the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award on Sunday and hinted in his acceptance speech about “a new project elsewhere”.
“This is a very important moment for me, I am arriving at maybe the first or second turning point in my career,” said the Frenchman.
“I have learned so much here, and I feel it’s maybe the time to have more responsibility. Maybe at PSG, that would give me great pleasure, or maybe elsewhere for a new project.”
PSG quickly responded by saying that the club’s “shared history [with Mbappe] will continue next season”, adding that “very strong links unite the club and Mbappe”, who signed from Monaco in 2017.
However, it has now emerged the duo had a big falling out following the French Cup final, with Spanish daily Sport suggesting Neymar had questioned the attitude of ‘young people at PSG’, which Mbappe thought had referred to him.
Paris Saint-Germain had just lost on penalties to Rennes in the match – denying them the chance to win the domestic treble – with the match witnessing the dismissal of Mbappe in extra time for a horror tackle on Damien Da Silva.
And according to Sport, Real Madrid are paying close attention to the saga and would willingly sign either should PSG give the green light for either player to leave. Any deal would likely shatter the world record €222m fee PSG paid Barcelona for Neymar back in 2017.
Both players have been linked with United and City in recent years and either could yet look to match any approach from Real Madrid if either were put on the market.
PSG coach Tuchel was questioned about the future of both his players on Thursday and gave a surprising admission, saying he could not guarantee what the future holds for either player.
“As a coach, I do want them to continue, but this is football, we are not naive,” Tuchel told a press conference.
“Many clubs want to transfer many players and the market is crazy, but if you ask me, the coach, yes, I want them here next season. But if they are not, we will find solutions.
“Mbappe has goals, he is very intelligent and maybe he thought it was time to say it, but he is invited, like all PSG players, to assume responsibilities.
“It is not necessary to make a speech to say that. He’s a special guy, he wants to score, score and score, win all the possible titles. We have to accept it, I’m not angry.”
On PSG needing to improve in the Champions League, the German added: “It’s always my goal to grow and learn, that’s why I’m here.
“It’s a gift to be a coach, it was important for me to work in another country, it’s a great experience, but it’s just the beginning.
“The last phase of the season was a bit difficult, we made an analysis, the club knows it and now we have to improve.”