An exasperated Thomas Tuchel accepted he no longer knows the offside rules after he was left baffled by the decision to allow Islam Slimani's Monaco equaliser to stand during Paris Saint-Germain's 3-3 draw on Sunday.

During a thrilling encounter at the Parc des Princes, PSG took an early lead through Neymar, only to then fall behind to strikes from Gelson Martins and Wissam Ben Yedder – the latter netting in the 13th minute.

The pendulum swung back in PSG's favour thanks to a Fode Ballo Toure own goal and Neymar's penalty just prior to the break, but controversially Monaco sealed a share of the spoils in Robert Moreno's first Ligue 1 game as coach 20 minutes from time.

Gelson's shot found its way to the seemingly offside Slimani via a touch from Marquinhos that was deemed to be deliberate, and the on-loan Leicester City striker swept home – VAR ruling in the visitors' favour after the assistant initially ruled it out.

Tuchel was bemused by the situation.

"The third goal… I don't, I can't understand," Tuchel said in his post-match news conference. "Really, why is it not offside?

"Everybody said to me that it is the new rule. Okay - after that, I have to say that I don't understand the rules, but it doesn't help."

Tuchel suggested before the match he was considering deploying Marquinhos – normally a centre-back – in midfield, but in the end he opted to select the Brazilian in defence, with Idrissa Gueye partnering Marco Verratti.

It was put to Tuchel that Gueye and Verratti might not be entirely compatible, while the German explained he played Marquinhos at the back due to recent injury problems in that position.

In a prickly response, Tuchel said: "Do you think differently, that they [Gueye and Verratti] are not complementary? Do you think I would start the two if I thought they're not complementary? Doesn't make sense right?

"For me, Marquinhos can play both positions at an unbelievable level. He is a world-class player in both positions.

"Recently we've some troubles [in defence], because Presnel [Kimpembe] was injured for a few weeks, Thilo Kehrer was injured for a long time, he's already played twice, so it was not the moment for him to play a third time, Abdou Diallo was not available and it was the first game for Thiago Silva.

"That's why we used Marquinhos, because it was the logical solution for this game, but for me, it's still possible to play with Marquinhos in midfield, because he gives the team some quality, a lot of energy and personality.

"It was necessary for me to find a solution like that [against Monaco] because my three central defenders are injured, or just got back from injuries. It was logical."

PSG remain in charge at the Ligue 1 summit with 46 points from 19 matches, five clear of Marseille. Monaco are eighth.

Barcelona appear ready to turn to their next coaching target as the LaLiga giants eye Mauricio Pochettino.

Ernesto Valverde is under enormous pressure after the Supercopa de Espana semi-final loss to Atletico Madrid, but Xavi has reportedly turned down the job – for now.

Amid contrasting reports over Barca's next decision, they may be lining up a move for Pochettino.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA CONTACT POCHETTINO OVER COACHING JOB

Barcelona contacted former Tottenham manager Pochettino to be their next boss, according to RAC1.

It comes as widespread reports in Spain say Al Sadd boss and former Barcelona star Xavi turned down the position.

Meanwhile, Catalunya Radio reported Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman also rejected the opportunity.

After a meeting on Sunday, Barca decided to stick with Valverde for now, according to Sport.

ROUND-UP

- Amid reports Manchester United had agreed to terms with Bruno Fernandes, the Mirror says the Premier League club are set to bid £65million (€76.1m) for the Sporting CP midfielder this week.

- Tottenham are set to sign Benfica's Gedson Fernandes as further details about a possible move emerge. Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano reports Spurs will sign the Portugal international on loan with an option to buy for between £42.7m (€50m) and £51.2m (€60m) in 2021.

- Jerome Boateng continues to be linked with a Bayern Munich exit. Milan are ready to challenge Arsenal for the defender, according to Sky Germany.

- Coming out of contract at season's end, it appears Layvin Kurzawa's future is away from Paris Saint-Germain. L'Equipe reports the left-back – who has made just five Ligue 1 starts this campaign – recently rejected Inter but the Serie A club remain hopeful of signing the 27-year-old this month.

- Juventus are looking to the future. CalcioMercato reports the Serie A champions are keeping an eye on teenage Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravenberch and AZ forward Calvin Stengs.

Neymar wants Paris Saint-Germain to stick with their all-out attacking approach despite Monaco twice coming from behind to claim a thrilling 3-3 Ligue 1 draw at the Parc des Princes.

Neymar was on sparkling form, scoring twice and forcing Fode Ballo-Toure's own goal but Monaco gave as good as they got in an absorbing contest in Paris on Sunday.

Gelson Martins and Wissam Ben Yedder overturned Neymar's early opener to give Robert Moreno's Monaco the lead inside 15 minutes and Islam Slimani smuggled in another equaliser 20 minutes from time.

Neymar and Angel Di Maria flanked Mauro Icardi and Kylian Mbappe in attack but PSG's backline was frequently exposed.

Nevertheless, Neymar – the world's most expensive footballer – is backing head coach Thomas Tuchel's strategy.

"We scored three goals. I think that it worked well," Neymar told reporters.

"We have quality, we know it. I think you made a mistake with this question but I responded."

Neymar believes Sunday's test will stand PSG in good stead as they once again compete for multiple honours, with Tuchel's old employers Borussia Dortmund their last-16 opponents when the Champions League resumes next month.

"This was a very difficult match," the Brazil international added. "We knew that we were going to encounter difficulties because they have a good team, with quality.

"It was a good test. We are happy. This was not the best match of our season. We are going to improve each time to pull off a great campaign."

Monaco twice came from behind to claim a 3-3 draw in a Ligue 1 thriller against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

Gelson Martins swiftly cancelled out Neymar's early opener and Thomas Tuchel's men were behind to a fine Wissam Ben Yedder goal by the time the world's most expensive player forced a Fode Ballo-Toure own goal.

Neymar's penalty put leaders PSG ahead at the break but substitute Islam Slimani came up with a VAR-assisted leveller.

The remarkable first half burst into life inside three minutes as Neymar darted on to Marco Verratti's lofted pass to coolly finish.

Monaco refused to be cowed and Gelson slotted into an unguarded net four minutes later when Keylor Navas brought down Ben Yedder and play was allowed to continue.

Keita Balde was then booked for simulation inside the PSG area but was involved in a superb Monaco second, exchanging one-twos with Aleksandr Golovin down the left before finding Ben Yedder to brilliantly beat Juan Bernat and fire home.

Navas saved with his boot to stop Balde making it 3-1 and that moment seemingly shocked PSG back into life. Ballo-Toure turned Neymar's shot from Angel Di Maria's pass into his own net and it was all square once more.

Monaco captain Kamil Glik headed Cesc Fabregas' left-wing corner against the near post before PSG regained the lead in the 42nd minute – Neymar sending Benjamin Lecomte the wrong way after a panicked Gelson clattered into Kylian Mbappe.

Lecomte stood firm to thwart Neymar at close quarters nine minutes into a second half where the pace somewhat inevitably relented.

Monaco hung in the contest and snatched a disputed equaliser 20 minutes from time.

Slimani was flagged offside when he scrambled home the rebound from Gelson's shot, but replays showed Marquinhos got a touch on the ball before it ran towards the on-loan Leicester City striker.

Navas tipped over to deny Slimani an unlikely winner before Neymar's sumptuous chipped pass in stoppage time gave Mbappe the chance to claim an outright club record of scoring in an 11th consecutive PSG match, but the striker sliced wide.

What does it mean? PSG's chin tested after Robert's Monaco came out swinging

PSG dropped points for only the fourth time this season, leaving them five points ahead of Marseille at the summit with a game in hand. This high-class encounter should do them little harm as attentions begin to turn back towards the Champions League, while Monaco are in the hunt for a return to European football and look to have some of their old swagger back under Robert Moreno.

Neymar shows style and substance

Injuries and the saga over his long-term club future have provided a less-than-ideal backdrop to Neymar's third season in Paris. But he has now scored in each of his past seven matches in all competitions – a run dating back to December 4. The Brazil star was unplayable at times and the sight of him charging back to his own box to break up a Monaco counter-attack with an hour played heartened the Parc des Princes faithful.

Verratti fails to stem the tide

Italy international Verratti showed his undoubted quality with the pass for Neymar's opener but his other role in Tuchel's expansive attacking line-up is to help protect the back four. Too often, he came up woefully short in this department against a vibrant Monaco, not least when Gelson's deft spin left him on the turf in the build-up to Slimani's equaliser.

What's next

These two sides will do it all again in their rescheduled Stade Louis II clash on Wednesday. Sunday's evidence in Paris certainly suggested it will not be one to miss.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel is overjoyed at the impact Mauro Icardi has had since joining on loan from Inter.

Icardi left Inter under something of a cloud, as his relationship with the club was said to have become increasingly strained after a frustrating season in which he scored only 11 Serie A goals.

He was then frozen out by new coach Antonio Conte and the striker eventually secured an exit on September 1, joining PSG on an initial loan deal for the 2019-20 campaign.

Since moving to Paris, the 26-year-old has found his mojo once again, scoring nine times in 11 Ligue 1 matches, helping to form a formidable front four with compatriot Angel Di Maria, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.

A hat-trick in the 6-1 Coupe de la Ligue win over Saint-Etienne on Wednesday was Icardi's most recent contribution, taking him to nine goals in his past 10 matches across all competitions, though Tuchel did not wish to discuss the purchase option that is reportedly set at €65million.

"I'm very impressed with Mauro Icardi," Tuchel told reporters ahead of Sunday's Ligue 1 meeting with Monaco.

"I met him here for the first time. The guy is super reliable and very, very professional. He understands football tactically, works defensively and is very, very efficient.

"His work and his reliability for the team is very impressive, but I don't want to talk about the purchase option."

The attacking unit of Icardi, Neymar, Mbappe and Di Maria has been dubbed the 'Fantastic Four', and Tuchel is impressed by their thirst for work, which he believes is vital for their tactical system to succeed.

"We are more reliable and beefier than in 2019," Tuchel said. "Our team has matured with the recruitment of the pre-season.

"There is a good frame of mind. We have a great team with healthy competition and I want to maintain this good level.

"We attack together and we defend together. This is perhaps one of the most beautiful things in football. A team cannot win with five players. The best level requires playing as a team.

"If you want to play 4-4-2, there are a lot of things to do and spaces to protect. Everyone has to do what is necessary and the players are doing it at the moment.

"With 4-4-2, the sides have to be more careful about defensive replacement than when playing in 4-3-3.

"I want players who are free to attack, but who also protect the spaces. I'm asking of my offensive players that they try to chase the ball in order to achieve a high pressure and recover the ball quickly.

"We have players capable of doing this counter-pressing. Neymar is smart enough to do it, Mauro Icardi or Angel Di Maria and Pablo Sarabia, too. We always find the best possible mix for us to keep this balance."

Andres Iniesta believes Barcelona would not regret bringing Neymar back from Paris Saint-Germain.

Brazil star Neymar has been repeatedly linked with a Camp Nou return over the past six months, with PSG digging in during the Ligue 1 close season to ensure he stayed in Paris.

An astonishing move to the French giants in August 2017 saw Neymar bought out of his Barcelona contract for a world-record €222million, and PSG hoped he would lead them to Champions League glory.

Only this week, Neymar said he felt the longed-for European glory remained a possibility this season, and he has seen off much of the hostility from Parisian supporters that followed several months of appearing to agitate for a return to Barca.

Yet as PSG bid to scoop a third successive Ligue 1 title and brace for a Champions League last-16 clash with Borussia Dortmund, rumours linking Neymar to the Blaugrana continue to linger.

Iniesta was a team-mate of Neymar's at Barcelona. Now a Vissel Kobe player, the Spain great has no doubt Neymar would slot back in and make a big contribution if a return could be negotiated.

"He's one of the best forwards out there, not just now," Iniesta said, quoted in Marca.

"He'd be a great signing for Barcelona. Another thing is whether it's necessary or not. For me, he's one of the best and he'd be a great signing."

Barcelona have a strong array of attacking talent, with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann leading the line in Thursday's Supercopa clash against Atletico Madrid.

Messi and Suarez are both 32, however, and eventually Barcelona will need a succession plan when it comes to their vaunted attack. Neymar does not turn 28 until next month.

Iniesta remains in awe of Messi's achievements, though, saying of the six-time Ballon d'Or winner: "He keeps outdoing himself, beating records; he's more important than ever.

"It's the best news for Barcelona that he's like this. I hope that he can achieve the objectives that he has this season."

Mauro Icardi would welcome an extended stay at Paris Saint-Germain.

The on-loan Inter striker plundered a hat-trick as Thomas Tuchel's side thumped Saint-Etienne 6-1 in the Coupe de la Ligue on Wednesday, taking his tally to 17 goals in 19 appearances across all competitions for PSG.

Icardi's agent and wife Wanda Nara sparked a fresh wave of speculation over the player's future by telling Eurosport "nothing is certain" in terms of whether the Ligue 1 champions will exercise an option to purchase, reported to be in the region of €70million, at the end of the campaign.

"We haven't talked about it with the club yet, but for sure I'm very well here," Icardi said after his hat-trick heroics, as quoted by Corriere dello Sport. 

"There are still four to five months before the end of the championship, then in May, when everything is over, we will talk about it.

"But if I had to stay here, I would be happy."

Icardi's resurgence in Paris has left the club's all-time leading lscorer Edinson Cavani as the odd man out in an all-star forward line, with the formidable trio of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Angel Di Maria lining up alongside the central striker.

As such, Cavani is a reported target of Manchester United, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid this month.

"To play in the place of Cavani, after many years of having done the best in PSG's history, it is a responsibility," Icardi added when asked about the Uruguay international.

"I knew this. When I play, I give the best of myself, just as when he does. The most important thing is the team."

Massimiliano Allegri is without a club since leaving Serie A champions Juventus at the end of 2018-19.

However, Allegri could be nearing a return to management sooner rather than later.

The Italian is believed to be interested in taking charge of Manchester United.

 

TOP STORY – ALLEGRI WANTS UNITED JOB

Massimiliano Allegri is interested in becoming Manchester United manager as pressure mounts on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to the Daily Mail.

Allegri has been rumoured to be of interest to Bayern Munich after leaving Serie A champions Juve at the end of last season, while the Italian was also linked to Arsenal prior to Mikel Arteta's appointment.

However, he is reportedly holding out for the United job should Solskjaer be sacked. Ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is also believed to be monitoring the situation.

 

ROUND-UP

- ElDesmarque claims MLS duo Inter Miami and LA Galaxy are ready to vie for the signature of Real Madrid's Gareth BaleChelsea, though, have also been linked with the former Tottenham star.

- The race is heating up for Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek. Struggling for goals and with Zlatan Ibrahimovic back at San Siro, the Poland international is wanted by Tottenham, reports The Guardian and Calciomercato. Spurs want to boost their attacking options following Harry Kane's injury. Aston Villa have also tabled a bid for Piatek, but Calciomercato claims he is holding out for a bigger club.

- While Piatek could prove a difficult signing, Villa are closing in on Milan goalkeeper Pepe Reina. Calciomercato, Gazzetta dello Sport and Tuttomercatoweb say former Liverpool keeper Reina has agreed a contract with the Premier League side until the end of the season.

- The Mirror reports United are in the market to sign a defender on loan after Harry Maguire's injury. Maguire – the world's most expensive defender – is facing a spell on the sidelines due to a muscle tear.

United are also weighing up a move for Ajax and Netherlands star Donny van de Beek, reports The Telegraph. With Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba injured, the Red Devils are in need of midfield reinforcements. Van de Beek has previously been linked to Real Madrid.

- AS claims Atletico Madrid are looking at Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik as an alternative to Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani. Out of contract at season's end, Cavani is reportedly poised to make the move to Atletico, however, United and Arsenal are also interested.

- Gianluca Di Marzio says Inter winger Matteo Politano has agreed to join city rivals Milan. Struggling for game time with the Nerazzurri, Politano's agent met with Milan's management on Wednesday as a shock switch nears.

Chelsea are preparing a £40million bid for West Ham defender Issa Diop, according to the Express. London rivals Tottenham are also reportedly interested.

Mauro Icardi has exceeded expectations at Paris Saint-Germain following his Coupe de la Ligue hat-trick, according to team-mate Marco Verratti.

Icardi's three goals led French champions PSG past 10-man Saint-Etienne 6-1 and into the semi-finals on Wednesday.

The Argentina international forward has flourished since arriving on an initial loan deal from Serie A outfit Inter at the start of the season, scoring 17 goals across all competitions.

PSG midfielder Verratti hailed Icardi – who was linked to Juventus, Napoli and Real Madrid prior to joining Thomas Tuchel's side – after his latest exploits in Paris midweek.

"Mauro? He may not touch the ball, he knows the ball will reach him and he will score, he is always ready," Verratti told Canal +.

"This is his main characteristic of Mauro. We didn't think it was going to be as good, the first six months are always difficult, but it is incredible and we hope it will continue like this."

Icardi has hit the ground running in the French capital, with nine of his goals coming in Ligue 1 as defending champions PSG top the standings by seven points.

"Starting the year well is important for everyone and for the team," Icardi told reporters. "We already did it with the last match in the Coupe de France, we demonstrated the team we have. And today, at home, we once again demonstrated the team we had, facing another opponent, by making a great match.

"The fantastic four [Icardi, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Angel Di Maria] ? We are working to improve, to have an oiled collective game, to attack together, to defend together, to do it in the best way. We know what we have to do. That's why we will have good results.

"We know that if we want to play with four forwards we must all make the sacrifices together. And that's what we've been doing since the coach changed systems. And we're doing it very well. "

Kylian Mbappe dodged questions about his contract negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain, insisting "it's not the right time to make some waves".

Mbappe has been heavily linked with a move to LaLiga giants Real Madrid, where head coach and fellow Frenchman Zinedine Zidane has made no secret of his admiration for the 21-year-old star.

PSG sporting director Leonardo has previously revealed talks over a new contract are progressing, with Mbappe's current deal running through to the end of the 2021-22 season.

Asked about his future following PSG's 6-1 Coupe de la Ligue quarter-final rout of Saint-Etienne on Wednesday, Mbappe told reporters: "I am ready to play football first. Because we are in January.

"We start the final sprint, where we can compete for trophies. I think it's not the right time to make some waves.

"The club are calm, serene, everyone is walking in the same direction so talking about external things of the pitch would not be realistic or good."

Mbappe was on target against 10-man Saint-Etienne as PSG cruised into the semi-finals thanks to Mauro Icardi's hat-trick midweek.

PSG led 3-0 at half-time via Icardi, Neymar and a Jessy Moulin own goal, and the hosts maintained their dominance in the second 45 minutes.

Mbappe helped Icardi complete his hat-trick with a pair of assists before the latter returned the favour by setting up the Frenchman in the 67th minute – Saint-Etienne's Yohan Cabaye bagged a consolation four minutes later.

On the relationship between Mbappe and Icardi, who is on loan from Serie A outfit Inter, PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel said: "I don't know if they reach another level but I know they love to play together.

"They play all four with great complicity especially Kylian and Mauro. It's obvious and it's necessary. If you play with four strikers, it's necessary that they try to find themselves on the pitch. They try to put each other in the best conditions. They give the ball to make an assist or to find a guy in a better position.

"They did great tonight. We speak a lot about the four strikers but you know that for me it's all about the team, we need to play as a team with the eleven players. That's football."

Paris Saint-Germain cruised into the semi-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue after Mauro Icardi scored a hat-trick in a 6-1 victory over 10-man Saint-Etienne.

The 2017-18 champions were in control of a one-sided contest before Wesley Fofana received his marching orders, leaving his team-mates to face an onslaught from PSG's four-pronged attack.

Icardi opened the scoring early in the first half and, after Neymar dinked in the second and goalkeeper Jessy Moulin bundled a third into his own net, the former Inter striker fired a second-half brace.

Not to be left out of the goal glut, Kylian Mbappe scored a sixth before Yohan Cabaye's late strike proved little consolation for Claude Puel's men, who bowed out with their tails between their legs.

Thomas Tuchel can reflect on another rampant attacking performance from his side, who have scored 29 goals in their last six games in all competitions, and remain very much in contention for silverware on four fronts.

Saint-Etienne were carved open with ease after two minutes when Thomas Meunier's slide-rule pass into the box found Icardi, whose angled shot Moulin would have saved had the visiting goalkeeper stood tall but it flashed over his crouching frame and high into the net.

Having earlier been booked for handball, Fofana was sent off after he caught Angel Di Maria's heels as the Argentina winger sprinted towards goal, and the 10 men were powerless to stop Neymar chipping Moulin for PSG's second after Di Maria threaded the assist.

Any hopes Puel had of rallying his team at the interval were spoiled when Mbappe's audacious backheel put Di Maria through for a cross that ricocheted off two defenders' shins before rebounding off the post, onto Moulin's legs and into the unguarded net.

Di Maria started the move that delivered PSG's fourth just four minutes after half-time, his pass releasing Mbappe whose cross deceived Moulin and left Icardi to fire into an empty net.

Saint-Etienne failed to cope with Mbappe's pace down the left and he burst clear before squaring to Icardi for the hosts' fifth shortly before the hour mark, and Icardi returned the favour 10 minutes later when he met Di Maria's long pass with a volley that played Mbappe in to score at close range.

Substitute Edinson Cavani had the ball in the net 10 minutes from time but he was flagged offside, compounding the Uruguayan's frustrations at missing out on much of a prolific period for PSG.

After Di Maria felled substitute Edmilson Indjai Correia in the box 20 minutes from time, Cabaye had a penalty saved by Sergio Rico but the midfielder met the rebound with a header that glided over the goalkeeper and into the net.

What does it mean? Icardi catching Mbappe

With few teams able to go toe-to-toe with PSG this season, their forwards are competing among themselves and Icardi's treble takes him to within two goals of catching Mbappe's tally of 19 in all competitions as the club's leading goal-scorer.

What a difference a year makes

It seems hard to believe that little short of a year ago Icardi was injury plagued, unsettled and facing an unclear future at Inter.

His revival under Tuchel has been spectacular and here he was back to his clinical best.

Juan to forget

On a night when Saint-Etienne barely got a sniff of the ball, Juan Bernat's overplaying at the back still threatened to allow them back into the game early on and he was wasteful with the ball going forward.

What's next?

PSG will likely face a stiffer test when they entertain Monaco in Ligue 1 on Sunday, while Saint-Etienne are at home against fifth-placed Nantes.

Edinson Cavani looks set to stay at Paris Saint-Germain after Thomas Tuchel suggested January departures will breed uncertainty following Leonardo's reported decision to keep the Uruguayan.

Cavani, 32, is into the final six months of his PSG contract and had been linked with an early exit after falling out of favour, but that now seems unlikely.

Sporting director Leonardo is said to have told Cavani he will not be allowed to leave in January, despite the pre-season arrival of Mauro Icardi limiting him to just four Ligue 1 starts this term.

The former Napoli striker was reportedly a target for Manchester United and Arsenal, however he looks set to see out the final months of his contract in Paris.

When asked if he agreed with Leonardo's reported decision, Tuchel said: "We need to make difficult decisions and we [Tuchel and Leonardo] have the same opinion.

"We don't like to change during the winter. It's not monopoly, it's a locker room, men who get on well together and who have formed a spirit.

"Each player entering or leaving creates uncertainty. If it's not necessary to change, that's fine. I am happy with the group."

PSG have not suffered with Cavani's decrease in playing time, as Icardi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have scored 28 Ligue 1 goals between them.

But Tuchel did not rule out the experienced forward fighting his way back into contention.

"It depends on the quality of others and of him," Tuchel said. "It's healthy competition between attackers.

"Kylian and Mauro have been great together. Edinson is fighting for his place. This is what we ask of him.

"He can do it. He's a great player, we never forget about him, but there is great competition. They can all play, but I can't promise anyone anything."

Cavani scored a brace in Sunday's 6-0 Coupe de France win over Linas-Montlhery, and while Tuchel was happy with his display, he also highlighted it was a match against sixth-tier opposition and suggested he will pick a first-choice XI for the Coupe de la Ligue visit of Saint-Etienne on Wednesday.

"It's good and I'm happy for Edi, but we played with Edi, [Julian] Draxler, [Pablo] Sarabia and [Adil] Aouchiche against a team from the sixth division," the German added.

"They played well but that's what we expect of them. This is the best thing for Edi and the attackers because it gives confidence, but we can't forget what Mauro, Neymar, Kylian and Angel [Di Maria] did for several games.

"They have the opportunity to start together tomorrow [Wednesday]. We are a great team, we need each player in good shape."

With Manchester City's Premier League title defence in tatters and a mounting injury list in defence, Pep Guardiola's side need reinforcements.

Aymeric Laporte and John Stones have been struck down by injuries this season, leaving City with limited options in defence.

As Liverpool run away with the title, City are eyeing an Inter star to rebuild their central defence.

 

TOP STORY – CITY TARGETING SKRINIAR

Manchester City have set their sights on Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar, according to The Mirror.

Premier League champions City have struggled with injuries in defence this season as rivals Liverpool charge towards the title.

City are reportedly ready to buy in January and Skriniar – also a target for LaLiga champions Barcelona and Real Madrid – is on the list.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Athletic says MLS outfit DC United want to sign Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric after Wayne Rooney's exit.

Juventus are "still hopeful" of signing Paris Saint-Germain loanee Mauro Icardi, reports Calciomercato. Icardi left Inter for PSG at the start of the season, having been linked to Juve and Napoli.

- Sky Sports claims Manchester United are interested in Leicester City star James Maddison, but are aware a January transfer will be difficult. Sky Sports also says the Red Devils are chasing Lille's Boubakary Soumare, along with Arsenal, Chelsea, Madrid and Valencia.

Mario Gotze will leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season, according to Bild. Gotze's contract is set to expire and he has been unable to agree a new deal.

- TZ says Bayern Munich are interested in Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo, with the Bundesliga champions distancing themselves from RB Leipzig's Lukas Klostermann.

Paris Saint-Germain will travel to Lorient in the last 32 of the Coupe de France.

Last season's runners-up PSG were handed a trip to Ligue 2 Lorient, who play on an artificial pitch, in Monday's draw.

Thomas Tuchel rested Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and Keylor Navas but his team still ran out 6-0 winners against Linas-Montlhery in the round of 64 on Sunday.

Marseille only got past Trellisac on penalties and their reward was a trip to National 2 outfit Granville, while Lyon will travel to Nantes in an all-Ligue 1 clash.

A last-gasp goal from Keita Balde Diao in Robert Moreno's first game at the helm ensured Monaco remained in the hat. They will travel to fourth-tier side Saint-Pryve Saint Hilaire, conquerors of Toulouse in the previous round.

Reunion's Saint-Pierroise, the only overseas team left in the draw, were handed a trip to National 2 team Epinal after an 18,000-kilometre round trip to Niort ended with a shock 2-1 victory.

Wolves star Adama Traore is reportedly attracting interest from Liverpool, Barcelona and Manchester City.

Traore, formerly of Barcelona, has continued to impress this season, helping Wolves sit seventh in the Premier League.

Now, the former Spain youth international is reportedly being targeted by three of Europe's biggest clubs.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL, BARCELONA & MAN CITY EYE TRAORE

Liverpool, Barcelona and Manchester City are interested in signing Traore, according to 90min.

Traore has scored four goals and provided four assists in the Premier League this season.

The report says Wolves want at least £70million for Traore.

 

ROUND-UP

- Dani Olmo is expected to leave Dinamo Zagreb and is being eyed by several European giants. Goal reports Barcelona lead Chelsea and Manchester United in the race for the 21-year-old Spain international.

- Arturo Vidal is linked with a move to Inter, but he may be going nowhere. The cover of Sport reads 'You stay', with the report saying Barcelona have told the midfielder he will remain with the LaLiga giants due to his importance to the club.

- Chelsea have identified their top January transfer target. The Daily Express reports the Premier League side want Inter forward Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa this month to ease the pressure on Tammy Abraham.

- Inter are considering reinforcements on the left-hand side. CalcioMercato says Chelsea's Marcos Alonso and Parma's Matteo Darmian are both being considered by the Serie A high-flyers.

- It seems Edinson Cavani's time at Paris Saint-Germain is just about over. Gianluca Di Marzio reports Atletico Madrid and Cavani have an agreement in place and the LaLiga club want the forward to arrive in January.

- Wojciech Szczesny is set to extend his stay at Juventus. The goalkeeper will re-sign with the Serie A giants until 2024, according to CalcioMercato.

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