‘Neymar’s focus must be on the field’

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Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe are the two players most often seen wearing the captain’s armband for PSG, while Kylian Mbappé, Marco Verratti and Keylor Navas are also considered to be part of Tuchel’s small group of close confidants. Neymar, in contrast, is not, despite his status as the world’s most expensive player and, certainly on recent form, as the capital club’s main difference-maker.

“I talk a lot with him one on one. It is important that he should be free to say what he thinks,” Tuchel said ahead of Sunday’s top-of-the-table showdown with Olympique Lyonnais at the Parc des Princes.

“We talk a lot about tactics but personally I don’t want him to be in the group of five because I don’t want him to have too many things on his mind or for him to be distracted.

‘He is an artist’

“He takes responsibility on the pitch. He is an artist, he is creative and I don’t want him to be thinking too much about organising things.”

Tuchel added: “When we talk about things like organising a flight or an away trip, we don’t do so with him because I want to leave him in peace and to focus on the field, so that he can play with all his freedom and creativity.”

The Brazilian is fresh from scoring a stunning hat-trick against Istanbul Basaksehir in midweek and has seven goals in his last four appearances.

Meanwhile Marquinhos is a doubt for the Lyon clash after taking a knock to his hip in midweek, so Thilo Kehrer could come into the back line. Memphis Depay is expected to play for Lyon despite suffering with a slight thigh problem.


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