Mbappe's injury 'worries us' – Marquinhos

By Sports Desk July 24, 2020

Paris Saint-Germain's Marquinhos conceded the squad have been left concerned by Kylian Mbappe's injury following their Coupe de France triumph over Saint-Etienne.

In their first competitive match since the suspension of football in France due to coronavirus in March, PSG clinched the Coupe de France crown thanks to Neymar's 14th-minute goal on Friday.

However, the victory was overshadowed by an injury to Mbappe, who was scythed down in the 31st minute by Loic Perrin – the defender subsequently seeing red for a tackle which sparked a touchline fracas.

Mbappe later returned to the bench on crutches and with his leg in a brace, casting serious doubt over his fitness for PSG's Champions League clash with Atalanta in August – while he will almost certainly miss next week's Coupe de la Ligue final against Lyon.

PSG also lost defender Thilo Kehrer to injury, and Marquinhos acknowledged the champions have been dealt a blow. 

"Obviously, Mbappe's injury worries us, and that of Kehrer," he told France 2. "Hopefully this is not too serious. We will see how it goes.

"They are two important players in the squad. You just have to think about preparing and working well. There are still trophies to go for. We will see day by day."

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel, meanwhile, labelled the triumph as an "expensive victory".

"Yes, we won. In a final, that's the most important," Tuchel told Eurosport. "It was complicated for several reasons. We won, but there are many things to improve and analyse.

"That's good. But it's an expensive victory. In the last three matches against Saint-Etienne, they always have a red in the first 30 minutes. And I'm not telling you what is said in the locker room before. And in addition, we are the ones who take three yellow cards.

"I have no news from Mbappe yet."

Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Jessy Moulin, meanwhile, came to the defence of team-mate Perrin, who has played his final match for the club.

"There is no one who can blame him," Moulin said on France 2. "When you see his career, he is exemplary in all areas.

"He was a leader throughout his career, thanks to his qualities on the pitch. It's a true Saint-Etienne player who is leaving us. And it hurts a lot to know that he won't be sitting next to us in the locker room anymore. I hope he stays close to us. But he knows we all love him."

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Man City still in Koulibaly talks, Wolves to sign Barca's Semedo Rumour Has It: Man City still in Koulibaly talks, Wolves to sign Barca's Semedo

    Will Manchester City finally land Kalidou Koulibaly?

    Pep Guardiola's City want defensive reinforcements and Napoli centre-back Koulibaly is reportedly at the top of the list.

    If they are unsuccessful, Sevilla's Jules Kounde is next on the list.

     

    TOP STORY – CITY NOT GIVING UP KOULIBALY

    Manchester City are still in talks with Napoli to sign star defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

    City have been tipped to sign Koulibaly, who has also been linked to Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

    However, City are yet to reach an agreement with Napoli and Sevilla's Jules Kounde is the "backup option" but a bid has already been turned down.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Romano says Wolves will complete the signing of Barcelona full-back Nelson Semedo on Monday. It comes as Barca eye Ajax defender Sergino Dest or Real Betis' Emerson to replace Semedo. Norwich City's Max Aarons has also been linked.

    Milan have made Fiorentina's Nikola Milenkovic their number one defensive target ahead of Celtic centre-back Kristoffer Ajer, reports the Daily Record.

    - Calciomercato claims Juventus are eyeing Real Madrid full-back Marcelo. The Brazilian has been repeatedly linked with a Cristiano Ronaldo reunion in Turin.

    - The Telegraph says PSG are interested in Tottenham's Dele Alli. Out of favour under Jose Mourinho, Spurs are reportedly targeting Manchester United's Jesse Lingard as a replacement.

    Roma remain interested in Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik but Madrid outcast Luka Jovic has emerged as 'Plan B', according to Calciomercato.

    Leeds United are out of the race to sign Dinamo Zagreb sensation Josko Gvardiol, reports Romano. Wanted by Marcelo Bielsa, the Croatian teenager is now set for Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.

  • Gattuso: Napoli need to raise funds but I'd be happy to keep Man City and PSG target Koulibaly Gattuso: Napoli need to raise funds but I'd be happy to keep Man City and PSG target Koulibaly

    Napoli head coach Gennaro Gattuso acknowledged Kalidou Koulibaly is likely to leave the Serie A club but he would be happy to keep the star defender.

    Koulibaly has been strongly linked with Premier League giants Manchester City and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain as Napoli look to raise funds following the club-record signing of Victor Osimhen.

    The 29-year-old Koulibaly played as Napoli opened their 2020-21 Serie A season with a 2-0 win at Parma on Sunday and Gattuso hailed the in-demand centre-back, who has also reportedly attracted interest from Manchester United.

    "I had no doubts, he is one of the strongest champions in the world in his role," Gattuso said via Sky Sport.

    "He has always given me great availability and always trains well. I would be sorry to lose him, both for the man and for the player.

    "But you know that numbers are important for clubs and at this moment something needs to be done for numbers, but I'd be happy to keep him."

    Osimhen made his debut for Napoli, coming off the bench to inspire the visitors as Dries Mertens and captain Lorenzo Insigne scored against Parma.

    Gattuso added: "It's not about numbers, but the principles of football. We know Osimhen is an added bonus, but we need to run before we have quality, because quality is not enough on its own.

    "We must set out the team with the right concepts and protect the defence, but we knew that Osimhen could give us another gear in the final 20-25 minutes today.

    "Osimhen is a lad who, in the 25 days I've been working with, I can tell doesn't forget where he started from, who made sacrifices, lost his family very young and has the head of a 40-year-old on 21-year-old shoulders.

    "I am confident he won't change, as he has a great attitude and at this moment is a better player than he's so far shown on the pitch."

  • Ronaldo is aware of when it is time to rest, says Pirlo Ronaldo is aware of when it is time to rest, says Pirlo

    Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo is aware of the importance of keeping Cristiano Ronaldo fresh and says the superstar forward will decide which games he sits out.

    The Portugal international scored late on in Juve's 3-0 victory over Sampdoria at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday as Pirlo's managerial reign got off to a winning start.

    He had earlier hit the crossbar and came close from a couple of his other nine efforts prior to finally finding a way past Emil Audero in the 88th minute.

    And with the five-time Ballon d'Or winner having recently picked up a toe injury on international duty, Pirlo is keen to closely manage his star player's fitness.

    "We are thinking about it and we have talked about it together," he told Sky Sport Italia. "He is not tired at the moment because we have just started the season. But when we come up to less important games, we'll try to give him a rest. 

    "He's a very intelligent lad who knows his body very well, so he is aware of when it's time to rest or step it up. When he will play depends on him."

    Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici confirmed ahead of kick-off that Barcelona's Luis Suarez is no longer an option in the club's search for a new striker.

    With Paulo Dybala missing the opening game through injury and Gonzalo Higuain finalising a move to Inter Miami on Friday, Pirlo is after a particular type of player to bolster his side.

    "We'll give it our best. It's about finding the right balance," he said. "Quality players are always welcome, as long as they have the characteristics to bring balance to the team. But we want to use as much of our talent as possible."

    Debutant midfielder Dejan Kulusevski netted the first goal of Pirlo's tenure and Leonardo Bonucci was also on target in Turin prior to Ronaldo's clinical finish late on.

    Weston McKennie is another who impressed on his first appearance since joining, while Gianluca Frabotta – a surprise starter at left wing-back – also caught the eye.

    "Frabotta had a good game. Alex Sandro picked up an injury, so I chose the under-23 lad who is training with us very well," Pirlo said. "I didn't consider it a risk at all to use him.

    "McKennie arrived having started pre-season training in Germany, so was in better shape than some others. He made a few errors in his passing, but it was the first game, we can forgive him for that."

    Pirlo has worked under some of the game's most influential coaches but vowed to do things his own way in his first managerial job.

    "It will take time to get all the various ways of playing together. I don't want to just copy and paste anyone's ideas," he said. "I have my own ideas and want to adapt from the teams that inspired me.

    "We haven't had much time, as the pre-season started late and then they were away for international duty. We had only one friendly too, but it was a good debut and we'll keep working on it."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.