Marquinhos, Icardi return from coronavirus quarantine for winless PSG

By Sports Desk September 16, 2020

Paris Saint-Germain will be without three suspended players, including Neymar, against Metz on Wednesday, but will have Marquinhos and Mauro Icardi available.

Brazil defender Marquinhos and former Inter striker Icardi were among seven PSG players to test positive for coronavirus earlier in September.

The list also included Neymar, Keylor Navas, Leandro Paredes, Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe, Marquinhos and Icardi were the only ones not given the green light to feature against Marseille on Sunday, though the remaining quartet could not help Thomas Tuchel's side avoid a 1-0 defeat and their second loss of the Ligue 1 season in an ill-tempered Classique.

Neymar was shown a red card in a stoppage-time fracas - later claiming he was racially abused by Marseille's Alvaro, allegations that the defender denied - with Paredes and Layvin Kurzawa also receiving their marching orders.

While Neymar, Paredes and Kurzawa will be missing on Wednesday, Tuchel has been handed a boost with the return of both Marquinhos and Icardi, with only Mbappe still in quarantine.

Marco Verratti and new signing Alessandro Florenzi both started against Marseille, though the Italy duo have not been included in Tuchel's 21-man squad to face Metz.

Goalkeeper Navas did not make the bench on Sunday, though could be set to replace Sergio Rico, who has signed permanently from Sevilla following a successful loan spell.

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    Mbappe's future with the Ligue 1 giants is a constant talking point with the star forward coming out of contract in 2022.

    And it seems the 21-year-old wants an exit.

     

    TOP STORY – MBAPPE WANTS PSG EXIT

    Mbappe wants to leave PSG next year, according to OKdiario.

    The report says the France international wants a smooth transfer to Real Madrid, otherwise he will make a move for free in 2022.

    Mbappe has helped PSG win three straight Ligue 1 titles since his arrival, initially on loan, from Monaco in 2017.

    PSG have won 64 of 81 Ligue 1 games with Mbappe from 2017-18 onwards, while recording 22 victories in 30 without him.

    In that period they have averaged 2.9 goals for per game with him, compared to 2.5 without him.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Another PSG star coming out of contract in 2022 is Neymar. However, in good news for the Ligue 1 giants, the forward wants to extend his contract, according to Foot Mercato, which says Neymar was ready to sign a five-year deal under the same financial conditions earlier in 2020.

    - Manchester United could be set to bolster their midfield ahead of next season. Bild reports the Premier League club are in talks with Milan's Hakan Calhanoglu, who it says rejected Juventus. United could sign Calhanoglu for free with his contract expiring at the season's end.

    - Another transfer race has reportedly not gone Manchester United's way. Fabrizio Romano says Manchester City will sign 18-year-old Filip Stevanovic from Partizan for £7.2million (€8m), including add-ons.

    - Staying at Manchester City and ESPN says Barcelona will again attempt to sign defender Eric Garcia in January. Garcia was linked with a return to the LaLiga giants earlier this year, but the report adds the incoming president will have to approve any potential deal.

    - Atletico Madrid are pushing hard to sign Valencia midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, according to Le 10 Sport.

  • Mbappe should sign for Real Madrid – Pires Mbappe should sign for Real Madrid – Pires

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    Pires, who turned down Madrid during his playing career, said Mbappe should make the move to the LaLiga giants – and the former Arsenal and France midfielder can see it happening.

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    Zidane has also been under pressure at Madrid, who have won just one of their past four games in all competitions ahead of hosting Huesca on Saturday.

    "I think it's incredible that people talk about a crisis and the end of an era when Real Madrid lose two games before the Clasico and then draw at the death against Borussia Monchengladbach," Pires said.

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    Madrid are third in the LaLiga table, a point behind Real Sociedad and Cadiz, although they can go top with a win over Huesca.

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    Like sport around the world, Ligue 1 was suspended in March due to coronavirus, but the 2020-21 season is set to continue despite the wave of infections.

    Tuchel said he was concerned, but added he had become accustomed to being regularly tested for COVID-19.

    "We are not just professional players or coaches. We are human beings. These are big changes that influence everyone. We are worried like everyone else," he said.

    "It is our challenge and our responsibility to adapt to all the rules. We trust [French president Emmanuel] Macron and [German chancellor Angela] Merkel. That is a certainty. We have to do this together, it's our obligation.

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    Ligue 1 leaders PSG visit Nantes on Saturday.

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