Kylian Mbappe appeared angry at being substituted on Saturday but Thomas Tuchel does not think the attacker will use it as a reason to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

Tuchel replaced Mbappe with Mauro Icardi in the 68th minute of PSG's 5-0 win over Montpellier and was involved in a heated discussion with the World Cup-winning France star.

The 21-year-old has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane has made no effort to hide his admiration for the former Monaco striker.

However, Tuchel does not expect their confrontation to be the beginning of the end of Mbappe's time in Paris.

"I can't think that Mbappe might use this situation as a reason to leave the club," he said ahead of Tuesday's trip to Nantes in Ligue 1.

"He is one of our players, he has a contract. I took that decision and this is the coach's job.

"It's not personal between us. It's just a thing between a player who doesn't want to be substituted and a coach who has reasons to do so, because he has players on the bench who need and deserve to play.

"The problem is there are cameras, fans, journalists, and a lot of people want to talk about it. This is why I was sad. There were a lot of positive things to talk about on the pitch.

"I talked with Leo [sporting director Leonardo], as we usually do, at 11, after the game. But it will be between us and the staff, it stays in the locker room."

Tuchel issued a defiant response when asked if he made the decision because it is easier for him to take off Mbappe rather than Neymar.

"If I wanted to be a politician I would work in politics. I am a coach. I can only think about sports," said Tuchel.

"I made the decision to leave Mauro Icardi and Edinson Cavani on the bench, starting with Pablo Sarabia, they didn't like that obviously. But that's a sporting choice.

"Sometimes it's better to have a left or right footed played, but I cannot think about politics. I cannot think it is hard to leave an individual on the bench.

"I am convinced that the players and the dressing room, everyone understands those decisions because this is how it works. I am the coach and have to make hard decisions.

"It's the same with substitutions. I decided that the game was finished. We have the possibility to let Pablo and Kylian leave the pitch and put Mauro Icardi and Edinson Cavani on the pitch because they deserved it. Julian Draxler could have played instead of Neymar, but I am not scared. Why should I be?

"I decided that Leandro Paredes deserved [to come one] because he was captain against Pau and played a great game. He deserved to start. This is why I wanted to give him some time on the pitch.

"I know it is hard for some players to accept, but in the end, for me, the only thing they have to accept are sporting things.

"If I start playing politics, I'm going to get lost. Everyone will put pressure on me and I'll only substitute Tanguy Kouassi because he's the youngest."

Kylian Mbappe appears unhappy at Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are continuing to track the forward.

Mbappe was unhappy with head coach Thomas Tuchel after being substituted during PSG's 5-0 Ligue 1 win over Montpellier on Saturday.

The pair were apparently part of talks that seemingly did not go that well on Sunday, once again sparking Madrid's interest.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID EYE MBAPPE AMID PSG TROUBLES

Real Madrid are tracking the situation of Kylian Mbappe at PSG, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The France international is out of contract in 2022 and Madrid would hope to land the forward for less than €300million next year.

Le Parisien reports Mbappe, Tuchel and PSG sporting director Leonardo met on Sunday, but the relationship between coach and player may be at the point of no return.

ROUND-UP

- Lautaro Martinez has starred for Inter this season, scoring 11 Serie A goals. Corriere dello Sport reports the Italian giants are keen to offer Martinez an improved contract amid reported interest from Barcelona, with the Argentina international's deal expiring in 2023.

- Despite scoring only four Serie A goals this campaign, Lorenzo Insigne could be set to earn a new deal at Napoli. Corriere dello Sport says the forward is set for talks over a contract extension, with his deal set to expire in 2022.

- Lille forward Victor Osimhen is attracting interest from LaLiga's two biggest clubs. The 21-year-old is already up to 16 goals this season and Lille were contacted by Real Madrid and Barcelona at the end of the January transfer window, according to Le10sport.

- Christian Eriksen apparently could have ended up at Juventus. CalcioMercato reports the Serie A leaders were seriously considering the midfielder in December before they landed Dejan Kulusevski, leading to Inter making their move for the Tottenham star.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has acknowledged his concern over the possibility of Neymar's birthday celebrations being "a distraction" for his side.

Neymar turns 28 on February 5 but will celebrate the occasion on Sunday by hosting what is reportedly set to be an extravagant party at a Paris nightclub. 

PSG - who thrashed Montpellier 5-0 on Saturday, with Neymar sporting a new, bright pink haircut - face Nantes on Tuesday.

Tuchel refused to confirm if he would be attending the celebrations, but conceded he is worried the event will prove to be distracting for his players, while he also pointed out that Kylian Mbappe's angry reaction to being taken off against Montpellier may compound the issue.

"I won't tell you if I am going to attend the party, you'll see [on Sunday]," Tuchel told a news conference.

"It's another topic of the day, Ney's party. That's a distraction, it's true. I always protect my players, they are my players, I love them. I prefer to speak to them face-to-face, if there is something to say, or a criticism to make.

"But Kylian's behaviour or Ney's party are bad distractions as it gives an unprofessional image of us, that we are not serious, not professional.

"But I don't think it's black or white, it could be grey too. I know everyone wants to speak in black or white, it's a shame, it gives the impression we are not focused at 100 per cent. It takes importance when we speak too much about it. So, I don't want to talk too much."

Neymar was also seemingly embroiled in a spat with the officials at half-time in Saturday's win at Parc des Princes, the Brazil forward reportedly questioning referee Jerome Brisard as to why he had received a booking in the 38th minute.

According to French broadcaster Canal Plus, Neymar was asked to speak French while confronting the officials in the tunnel.

Canal Plus claim Neymar responded by slamming an object into a wall and replying: "Speak French? My a**!" 

Thomas Tuchel was unimpressed by Kylian Mbappe's reaction to being substituted in Paris Saint-Germain's 5-0 win over Montpellier on Saturday.

Mbappe scored PSG's fourth goal at Parc des Princes, having earlier hit the post as well as playing a part in the sending off for Montpellier goalkeeper Dimitry Bertaud.

With PSG five goals up with 68 minutes gone, Tuchel opted to withdraw the 21-year-old, with Mauro Icardi coming on to replace him.

But Mbappe was visibly annoyed with the decision, vocally questioning head coach Tuchel, who continued his attempts to respond to the forward before he sat down in a heated exchange.

The France international did take his place on the bench but continued to look disgruntled.

"I'm the coach, someone has to decide who goes off and who comes on – it's me," Tuchel said during his post-match news conference.

"He is very intelligent, he knows what he is doing. He doesn't like going off, nobody likes going off.

"These are not good images, but we are not the only club that has to deal with this sort of thing. It's not good, because it opens up subjects that go against the team's state of mind. Too bad. 

"I am not angry, but I am sad because it is not necessary. I explained to him why we did this, and it will stay that way. I will always decide the technical aspects. We don't play tennis, we play soccer and we have to respect everyone."

Tuchel was asked what the next steps would be and refused to rule out punishing Mbappe.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss added: "I don't know, I have to think, I have to sleep. 

"I will make a decision. We have training at 11am, we will talk about the match with the group. I'll see if I talk about this or if I do it individually. It will depend on my night's sleep too!"

PSG enjoyed a comfortable afternoon in a match that was all but over after 17 minutes, Pablo Sarabia scoring before Bertaud, who handled outside the area while attempting to stop an Mbappe shot, saw red.

Angel Di Maria's strike and a Daniel Congre own goal had PSG three up at the break, with Mbappe and Lavyin Kurzawa on target after the break.

Montpellier ultimately finished with nine men after Joris Chotard received a second booking two minutes from time.

Paris Saint-Germain extended their lead atop Ligue 1 to 13 points as they thumped nine-man Montpellier 5-0.

Montpellier were already behind when goalkeeper Dimitry Bertaud was sent off in the 17th minute on Saturday to end their hopes of being competitive.

Pablo Sarabia had scored a fine eighth-minute opener, with PSG going on to net twice in the final five minutes of the first half through Angel Di Maria scoring and a comical Daniel Congre own goal.

Thomas Tuchel's men kept a fifth consecutive clean sheet as they went a 19th straight match without losing, with second-half strikes from Kylian Mbappe and Layvin Kurzawa adding gloss to the victory prior to a late sending off for Montpellier's Joris Chotard.

PSG thought they had scored a brilliant team opener only for Mbappe to be ruled offside before setting up Sarabia.

But Sarabia was not to be denied as he latched on to a loose ball in the hosts' next attack and curled a magnificent 25-yard finish over Bertaud.

Montpellier's hopes were all but over when Bertaud was sent off as he charged out of his box and was adjudged to have handled when saving an Mbappe effort. Montpellier protested furiously but there would be no VAR reprieve.

An angry Neymar was booked for dissent but he was smiling soon after when Di Maria smoothly chipped his finish over sub keeper Matis Carvalho after a neat one-two with Sarabia.

It was three in bizarre fashion just before the break as a Di Maria corner was sliced by Teji Savanier as he attempted to clear and it bounced in off the head of a helpless Congre.

Neymar had limped down the tunnel after a challenge from Arnaud Souquet just before the break, but there was relief for the home fans when he re-emerged for the second half and the Brazil star almost made it four only to be denied by Carvalho.

Mbappe's left-footed strike rebounded off the post but the World Cup winner did get his goal on 57 minutes when he rounded Carvalho and tapped in having been found by Neymar.

Seven minutes later it was Kurzawa, having remained in Paris after being linked with a January transfer, who swept in his first goal since striking against Montpellier a year ago.

Three minutes from time, Chotard got a second yellow card for a rash foul on Presnel Kimpembe to add salt to Montpellier's wounds, though there was some relief when PSG's Edinson Cavani was denied a headed sixth for a marginal offside.

 

What does it mean? PSG on easy street

It was clear Montpellier were going to be in for a long afternoon after Bertaud's early red card. They made PSG sweat in a thrilling reverse fixture in December but, despite a string of injuries in defence, a win for the champions was never in doubt here as their dominant domestic campaign continued.

Sarabia steps up for PSG

Sarabia had a goal disallowed, scored a wonderful opener and set up PSG's second goal, all in the first half, and continued to be influential from there. It was a huge relief that Neymar was not injured and, in Sarabia, PSG boss Tuchel has another key member of his supporting cast.

Bertaud ends Montpellier hopes

Bertaud was rash in rushing out of goal in an attempt to deal with Di Maria's lofted pass and paid for that misjudgement when Mbappe beat him to the ball, his red card ending the match as a contest.

What's next?

PSG are away to Nantes on Tuesday ahead of an attractive fixture at home to Lyon in eight days' time. Montpellier host Metz on Wednesday.

Quique Setien declared Neymar's interest in a Camp Nou comeback to be good news as the Barcelona boss detailed his desire to keep Lionel Messi happy.

Brazil international Neymar attempted to engineer a return to his former employers last year and, though seemingly now fully committed to Paris Saint-Germain, his future could still lay in LaLiga.

Barca have been tipped to reignite negotiations further down the line and their new head coach would welcome the star forward's arrival.

"That's good," Setien told Mundo Deportivo when asked about Neymar's desire for a second Barca stint.

"I love to watch and have great footballers and if I can watch Neymar every day, just imagine."

Barca captain Messi was among those pushing hardest for his former team-mate's return, admitting he would have "loved" the transfer to go ahead.

The 32-year-old claimed "some people were against" moving for Neymar despite the boost he could have given in their pursuit of yet more trophies.

Setien is hopeful the mercurial Messi continues to feel enthusiastic about life in Catalonia, with his contract due to expire next year.

"I hope we make him so happy that he is looking forward to staying," the Blaugrana boss said in a separate interview with Sport. "He will be here in the future, I have no doubts.

"The talks have been very normal as with any other player. He is very convinced that we can win. He is perceived to be a winner and cares that things are done well.

"He takes interest in the talks. He knows he is an important part, one that can solve many games, but we have to rely on the team to be stronger."

Barca, second behind Real Madrid in LaLiga, host Levante on Sunday.

The January transfer window closed on Friday, but not every wantaway star got their move.

While a number of Europe's top sides were in the hunt for attacking reinforcements, deals could not be completed for several big names.

We take a look at a selection of forwards who were not on the move and analyse what the future could hold for them.

EDINSON CAVANI

Cavani's on-off transfer from Paris Saint-Germain to Atletico Madrid was only finally ruled out on Thursday, leaving the Ligue 1 club's record goalscorer at the Parc des Princes despite reported interest from the Premier League's big-hitters.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel reminded Cavani "there are worse situations than staying" in the French capital, but with his contract up at the end of the season, he may not be around for too much longer.

Cavani has repeatedly been linked with Inter Miami, David Beckham's MLS franchise who can still make signings.

OLIVIER GIROUD

It appeared for a time as though Giroud's future might be intertwined with Cavani's, as Chelsea boss Frank Lampard openly discussed the merits of the PSG striker. But just as Cavani stayed put, so too did Giroud.

Moves to Inter, Lazio and even rivals Tottenham did not come off, while the former Arsenal man reportedly rejected Newcastle United.

Giroud has started only twice in the Premier League this season and must now hope he secures a place in the France squad for Euro 2020 despite his continued marginal role.

WILLIAN JOSE

There were very few attackers not linked with Manchester United, Chelsea and Spurs during January, and Willian Jose remained a candidate for a transfer until deadline day.

Yet rather than joining Jose Mourinho in London, the Real Sociedad man spent Friday apologising to his current club's supporters for attempting to force the switch.

Willian Jose described a Premier League move as a "dream" but, at 28, he might wonder if such an opportunity has passed him by.

RODRIGO MORENO

It seemed to be a move that would suit everyone. Rodrigo would get a big move to Barcelona, providing the LaLiga champions with cover for Luis Suarez. Valencia were looking at former star Paco Alcacer as a replacement.

But the two clubs failed to agree terms, Rodrigo stayed put, and Alcacer headed to Villarreal.

It appears highly unlikely Barca will return for Rodrigo at the end of the campaign, perhaps instead turning their focus back towards Neymar, and the Spain international has surely missed his big chance.

Barcelona signed Brazilian midfielder Matheus Fernandes and Portuguese forward Francisco Trincao on transfer deadline day, but both players must wait for their chance to shine at Camp Nou.

Fernandes will join Quique Setien's squad from Palmeiras in July after a €10million package was agreed for the 21-year-old, who has played for the Brazil Under-20 team.

Braga accepted a €31m offer from Barca for 20-year-old forward Trincao, and he will also formally join the Catalan club's ranks at the end of the season.

Both players have agreed five-year contracts, the Blaugrana announced, with Fernandes' contract including a €300m buy-out clause and Trincao's deal showing a €500m clause.

Braga will take Barca's 18-year-old striker Abel Ruiz on loan until the end of the season and then make the deal permanent for €8m, with the LaLiga club having a buy-back option.

Barca were not the only Spanish club busy in the market though, with Celta Vigo signing striker Fyodor Smolov on loan from Lokomotiv Moscow until the end of the season.

Atletico Madrid re-signed Belgian winger Yannick Carrasco, almost two years after he left to join Chinese side Dalian Yifang. The 26-year-old joined until the end of the season on loan.
 

STAYING PUT

Deadline day was as notable for the deals that looked to have fallen through as those that were completed.

Paris Saint-Germain ruled out allowing Edinson Cavani to leave, as a host of clubs fancied taking the Uruguayan off their hands, while Chelsea refused to let France striker Olivier Giroud depart Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham were among the clubs keen on Giroud, but Jose Mourinho looked like missing out on the striker he wanted to strengthen a front-line depleted by the loss of injured England captain Harry Kane.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane said Gareth Bale would not be leaving the Santiago Bernabeu.

Manchester United remained linked with Bournemouth forward Joshua King, but time was running out for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to add new faces to his Old Trafford squad.

United made one signing, but it was a low-profile deal as England Under-20 goalkeeper Nathan Bishop arrived from third-tier Southend United.

Arsenal brought in defender Cedric Soares on loan from Southampton.

In Scotland, champions Celtic shipped out Scotland international Lewis Morgan to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami, who are part-owned by David Beckham.

Belgian side Genk allowed attacking midfielder Ianis Hagi, son of Romanian great Gheorghe Hagi, to join Scottish giants Rangers on loan.
 

KOUAME, DUNCAN IN

Serie A transfer activity was dominated by Fiorentina, who signed Ivorian forward Christian Kouame from Genoa, initially on loan. The deal will be made permanent at the end of the season.

They also brought in Ghanaian midfielder Alfred Duncan from Sassuolo in a similar deal, a loan with an obligation to buy.

Reports in Italy said Kevin-Prince Boateng was set to leave Fiorentina among the incomings, with Besiktas his destination. Turkish giants Besiktas also snapped up 18-year-old Croatian midfielder Ajdin Hasic from Dinamo Zagreb on permanent terms.

Atalanta agreed a loan deal with Nice, acquiring defender Adrien Tameze from the Ligue 1 outfit with a purchase option.

World Cup winner Steven Nzonzi cut short a season-long loan from Roma to Galatasaray, returning to his French homeland with Rennes on a six-month loan with an option for a further year.
 

HERTHA BUSY

In the Bundesliga, Emre Can left Juventus for Borussia Dortmund on Friday evening, initially on loan until the end of the campaign but with a €25m fee agreed for a potential permanent transfer.

Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin followed up Thursday's signing of Krzysztof Piatek by prising 20-year-old Brazilian winger Matheus Cunha from table-toppers RB Leipzig, for whom he scored nine goals in 52 games.

Hertha managing director Michael Preetz said on the club's website: "We wanted to increase the quantity and improve the quality up front, which we have been able to do with the Piatek and Cunha transfers."

Leipzig also offloaded Austrian midfielder Stefan Ilsanker to Eintracht Frankfurt. He spent four-and-a-half years at Leipzig, joining them in the second tier.

Werder Bremen signed striker Davie Selke on an 18-month loan from Hertha, the 25-year-old returning to the club where he began his professional career.

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel insists Edinson Cavani could be in a worse position than having to stay at the club.

The striker had appeared set to leave during the transfer window, with his contract expiring at the end of the season and his place in the first team usurped by Mauro Icardi.

Atletico Madrid were favourites to sign the Uruguay star but reports in Spain suggest they pulled out of the deal due to demands from the player's agent.

A Premier League move was also mooted, with Chelsea and Manchester United keen to sign a striker, but Frank Lampard appeared to confirm no new arrivals would be made on deadline day when stating Olivier Giroud would not be sold.

Tuchel had always been keen to keep Cavani, and he now hopes to see the 32-year-old regain top form as PSG keep up their pursuit of a clean sweep of domestic honours and Champions League glory this season.

"There are worse situations than staying at Paris Saint-Germain," he told reporters ahead of Saturday's Ligue 1 match with Montpellier at Parc des Princes.

"Edinson will feel good soon. He needs to regain confidence and rhythm - that's normal for a forward.

"Edi is a great player for the club. The fact the group is not changing is positive because we are used to working together.

"Everyone has a chance to be first choice. Edinson missed several weeks due to injury and his situation. So, we have to be patient and not think he can bring his best game on Saturday.

"If he regains rhythm and confidence, he'll be important for us. We're going to help him regain all his abilities."

Cavani has started just six games in all competitions for PSG in 2019-20, scoring five goals.

PSG are 10 points clear of Marseille at the top of Ligue 1 after 21 games.

Manchester United look set to continue scrambling for strikers throughout deadline day.

While Bruno Fernandes has finally arrived, the Red Devils were reportedly less successful in a surprise bid to bring Bournemouth forward Joshua King back to Old Trafford.

Now, with the countdown well and truly on, a Tottenham target appears to have been removed from United's radar.

 

TOP STORY - UNITED PASS ON WILLIAN JOSE

Though still without Marcus Rashford, United have rejected the chance to sign Willian Jose on loan, according to Sky Sports.

Real Sociedad reportedly failed to gain a bite after offering the Brazilian striker to the Champions League aspirants amid negotiations with another Premier League club in Tottenham.

Spurs earlier looked to be in pole position to sign the 28-year-old permanently, but may now have to settle for a temporary deal as discussions continue.

The prospect of a bolstering their attack following Rashford's injury would have appealed to United, who reportedly failed in an attempt to capture Cherries star King.

The Telegraph claims Eddie Howe's insistence on keeping the Norwegian denied Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the chance to reunite with the player he coached while in charge of United's reserve side.

 

ROUND-UP

- Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain will keep Edinson Cavani unless LaLiga side Atletico Madrid improve from €15million to €20m, according to ESPN reporter Julien Laurens.

- Juventus midfielder Emre Can will join Borussia Dortmund on loan with an obligation for the Bundesliga club to buy for €30m, reports Goal.

- Manchester City are set to beat Arsenal, Barcelona and Bayer Leverkusen to Coritiba's 17-year-old Brazilian right-back Yan Couto, claims Mundo Deportivo. 

- Ricardo Rodriguez is out the door and Milan might have settled on a shock replacement. Sky Sports suggests the Rossoneri have agreed an €11.9m (£10m) deal to take left-back Antonee Robinson from Championship outfit Wigan Athletic. The Serie A side are also said to be on the cusp of signing Anderlecht youngster Alexis Saelemaekers.

- Inter and Lazio are competing to secure Chelsea centre-forward Olivier Giroud before the transfer window shuts, claims Sky Sport Italia. 

Lyon's last-gasp win over Nice means they will face Marseille in a Choc des Olympiques in the Coupe de France quarter-finals.

Houssem Aouar's 93rd-minute penalty ensured Lyon's progression on Thursday, with the substitute scoring just four minutes after Adam Ounas had made it 1-1, cancelling out Moussa Dembele's opener.

It means the headline fixture from the last eight will be a derby clash between Lyon and Marseille, who last met in November when Andre Villas-Boas' side won 2-1.

Meanwhile, 12-time winners PSG – who defeated Pau 2-0 in their round of 16 tie – have been handed an away match against Dijon.

Defending champions Rennes will take on fourth-tier Belfort, who defeated Montpellier on penalties in the previous round.

Fellow minnows Epinal also inflicted a shock in the round of 16, defeating Lille, and will face another Ligue 1 side in the form of Saint-Etienne.

The ties will take place on February 11 and 12.

Thomas Tuchel gave Leandro Paredes the captain's armband for Paris Saint-Germain's Coupe de France win over Pau to show the confidence he has in the midfielder.

Tuchel left Neymar out of his squad for the 2-0 win over the third-tier side, with Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria watching from the bench as PSG claimed a 2-0 win to reach the last eight.

Paredes has struggled to justify the outlay PSG spent on him in January. The Ligue 1 champions paid an initial €40million to Zenit, with the fee potentially rising to €47m.

However, he repaid Tuchel's confidence on Wednesday as he scored the opening goal - just his second for the club - with a superb volley in the 25th minute.

Pablo Sarabia's second-half effort effectively put the game beyond doubt.

"By giving the armband to Paredes, it was also the intention to show him the confidence we have in him," Tuchel told Eurosport. "He did well by scoring.

"You can't win if you don't make the effort - everyone thinks it's easy to always win, but it isn't. It always takes effort.

"Look when we scored, the bench players celebrated, and that's great. It's a good sign. I love that. If those on the bench are there for the others, are happy, that's good.

"I feel it every day. I have enormous confidence in my players."

PSG are 10 points clear at the top of the league, with the biggest game on the horizon their Champions League last-16 first-leg clash with Tuchel's former club Borussia Dortmund on February 18.

"We are not in Dortmund yet - there is Montpellier this weekend and many other matches, we still have a lot of time," Tuchel added. 

"The best way to prepare for big games is to play every three days, to play and to play again. We are having a good time. We have good results, it is deserved, and it is never easy.

"Outside, there is always an atmosphere against us, and it's good to have managed to make this match and get this result.

"The goal is to find a state of mind in this kind of match - if we don't have it now, we won't find it in close matches. Each match is a small rehearsal, of the things that we do well, but also of those that we do not do well.

"There are of course things that can be improved. But in a club like PSG, it's important to have the victories, to follow up to have confidence and be in good condition.

"I told the players that this match was important, it was necessary to win if we want to win the cup."

Asked about the knee injury right-back Colin Dagba suffered in the second half, Tuchel replied: "No news. He has a lot of pain in the knee, but I don't know more.

"He was very good at the moment, he was very good against Lille, he is able to make an impact as soon as he returns."

Paris Saint-Germain eased into the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France with a routine 2-0 win at Pau.

Neymar was not named in the squad for the trip to the third-tier side, with Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria left on the bench for the visit to the Stade du Hameau.

However, neither was needed as the Ligue 1 leaders comfortably saw off the Championnat National promotion chasers with a goal in each half.

Leandro Paredes opened the scoring with only his second goal for the club after 25 minutes and Pablo Sarabia made sure of progression eight minutes into the second half.

PSG had not really threatened when Paredes opened the scoring in style.

Mauro Icardi laid Layvin Kurzawa's cross into the path of the Argentina midfielder, who controlled brilliantly before lashing a volley beyond Alexis Guendouz.

Kurzawa then spurned a chance to double the lead as he lashed across the face of goal, but Sarabia made no mistake after the restart.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting saw his point-blank effort from Mauro Icardi's pull back blocked by Damon Bansais and Sarabia was there to convert on the follow-up.

Pau pushed to try to find a way back into the contest, but a lack of cutting edge in the final third meant an unlikely comeback was never on the cards.

 

Real Madrid have long been touted as favourites to tempt Kylian Mbappe from Paris.

Mbappe idolises Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane, who has made no secret of his desire to sign the Paris Saint-Germain forward.

But should Liverpool splash the cash, Mbappe could reportedly find himself at Anfield.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE OPEN TO REDS

Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe would be open to joining Premier League leaders and Champions League holders Liverpool, according to journalist Julien Laurens.

Mbappe has long been tipped to eventually swap PSG for LaLiga giants Real Madrid, where he is coveted by fellow Frenchman and head coach Zinedine Zidane.

However, Laurens claims Liverpool could be an option, should the English side meet PSG's demands.

 

ROUND-UP 

Manchester United want Alexis Sanchez to return to the club at the end of the season, says the Daily Star. On loan at Serie A outfit Inter following a horror spell in Manchester, the Red Devils have decided to give the Chilean forward another chance to prove himself.

- West Ham have offered €40million (£33.7m) to Cagliari for Uruguay international Nahitan Nandez, reports Tuttomercatoweb.

- With Carles Perez edging closer to Roma, Barcelona could also sell Ivan Rakitic. According to Marca, Juventus are keeping tabs on the experienced midfielder.

- Sky Sport Italia claims Roma have contacted Chelsea over veteran forward Pedro, who is out of contract at season's end.

Flamengo have agreed terms with Inter to sign Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa on a permanent basis, reports ESPN Brazil, Globoesporte and Sportitalia.

Juventus are still pondering a swap deal that would see full-back Mattia De Sciglio move to PSG in exchange for Layvin Kurzawa, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

Thomas Tuchel hailed Neymar as an "exceptional" player after the Brazil star led Paris Saint-Germain to a 2-0 Ligue 1 win at Lille.

The forward made it 13 goals in as many league games this season as he struck in each half at Stade Pierre-Mauroy for the champions.

With nine goals in his past seven league appearances helping PSG to a 10-point lead at the top of the table, Neymar's spectacular form has won the admiration of his head coach.

"He has an incredible ability to accelerate and dribble. He was exceptional at times," Tuchel said on Sunday.

"He's been playing at this level for weeks and has offered us games of this calibre every three days. 

"He's a boy who is capable of simple things and then exceptional things in the next minute. I'm happy for him as this will give him a lot of confidence."

Tuchel was happy with the way PSG largely nullified the threat of a Lille side whose previous home defeat in the top flight was back in March last year.

"We had a lot of the ball in the first period and a bit less in the second, when our counter-attacks weren't all successful. We lost easy balls sometimes," Tuchel said.

"It was still a good game overall that we managed to control. It wasn't that obvious that we faced a very strong opposing team, unbeaten at home, with a very strong coach and a really good atmosphere."

Thiago Silva was replaced at half-time, but Tuchel stressed the change was a precaution as the centre-back had felt some discomfort.

However, the decision to take off left-back Abdou Diallo with 14 minutes remaining was down to concern about his use of the ball.

"Thiago tried to play through with some pubis pain, but it wasn't very comfortable for him," Tuchel explained. "That's why we took him off at half-time. But I don't think it's too serious.

"As for Diallo, he lost the ball three times and that was pretty dangerous. It was better for him to go off."

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