Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel stressed there is no place for racism in football but said he did not hear any comment aimed at Neymar, who accused Marseille defender Alvaro of abusing him.

Brazil superstar Neymar was one of five players sent off amid an ugly fracas at the end of Sunday's Classique, which Marseille won 1-0 at the Parc des Princes.

A VAR check showed Neymar striking Alvaro on the back of the head and he later posted on Twitter to say his only regret was not hitting his opponent in the face after alleging he was subjected to a racial slur.

Alvaro denied the claims with his own post on social media and Tuchel was asked about the incident at a post-match news conference.

"What I heard? He [Neymar] told me that it was some racist insult, but I did not hear anything on the pitch," Tuchel said.

When made aware of Neymar's social media post, Tuchel replied: "I think that everyone has the same opinion that racism in all the society, in sports or in our lives can't exist. It's obvious.

"But I did not hear that today, neither [did] the referee so I can't answer this question."

Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas earlier said he too was unaware of the incident, while also speaking about Alvaro's claim he was spat at by PSG's Angel Di Maria.

"I don't know. I hope not, there is no place for racism in football," Villas-Boas said in an interview with Telefoot.

"It's a serious fault if it happened but I don't think so. Before that, we had a situation with a spit from Di Maria.

"These are things to avoid in the world of football. I hope it won't be a black spot in this historic performance."

PSG have started their Ligue 1 campaign with back-to-back 1-0 defeats, with their domestic season have been delayed due to their run to the Champions League final.

Real Madrid have made no secret of their admiration for Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe himself has flirted with the possibility of working with fellow Frenchman Zinedine Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu.

A blockbuster transfer could be getting closer…

 

TOP STORY – MADRID WAITING FOR MBAPPE

Real Madrid are prepared to target Kylian Mbappe next year as the Paris Saint-Germain forward wants to leave the Ligue 1 champions, according to reports in Spain.

Mbappe has reportedly told PSG he wants to depart the French capital at the end of the 2020-21 season.

Monday's editions of Marca and Diario AS are dominated by Mbappe, with the front pages saying Madrid are waiting to pounce for the France star in 2021.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Telegraph claims Manchester United have shown an interest in Inter's Ivan Perisic as the Red Devils struggle to negotiate a deal with Borussia Dortmund for Jadon Sancho. Perisic spent last season on loan at Bayern Munich.

Tottenham have set their sights on Southampton striker Danny Ings, says Football London. Spurs are desperate to bolster their attacking stocks, though it will be tough to prise the former Liverpool man to London.

- Sportitalia claims Roma have agreed personal terms with Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik, who has also been linked with Tottenham and Juventus. Milik's possible arrival in Rome could see Edin Dzeko leave for Serie A champions Juve.

Milan are confident of signing Federico Chiesa from Fiorentina, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport. Milan's faith is based on the likely exit of Lucas Paqueta and Chiesa's dropping price tag.

- Mundo Deportivo says Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum is set to stay at Anfield despite interest from LaLiga champions Barcelona. Ronald Koeman's Barca could now rival Liverpool for Bayern's Thiago Alcantara, who has also been linked with United.

Roma are struggling to reach a deal with United for defender Chris Smalling, claims Calciomercato. Roma had hoped to sign the former loanee by the weekend, but the Italian club are now turning to Torino centre-back Armando Izzo as a possible alternative.

- Madrid defender Sergio Reguilon prefers another loan move to Sevilla rather than a United transfer, according to Diario AS. Despite United's interest, Reguilon wants to remain in Spain as he eyes a possible return to the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of 2020-21.

Andre Villas-Boas took aim at Thomas Tuchel and poked fun at Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League failure after Marseille's win.

Florian Thauvin's first-half goal was enough for Marseille to end a 20-game winless run against PSG in a fiery Le Classique in Paris on Sunday.

Five players, including PSG star Neymar, were sent off in additional time at the Parc des Princes.

Marseille head coach Villas-Boas said he exchanged words with PSG boss Tuchel, who has overseen back-to-back losses to begin the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season.

"Normal insults – you're a s***, no, you are a s*** yourself," Villas-Boas told a news conference.

"He told me I played lottery tonight, I told him he played lottery too against Atalanta [in last season's Champions League quarter-finals].

"Fair enough. I have a huge respect for him, I appreciate what he does."

PSG needed two late goals to beat Atalanta in August before they fell to Bayern Munich in the decider.

Villas-Boas said the pressure was on Tuchel to deliver a Champions League title to PSG.

"Obviously PSG wait for a cup, the Champions League, you can't invest $1.5billion and not win the Champions League," he said.

"[Carlo] Ancelotti was here, now he is coaching Everton. [Unai] Emery was here, now he is coaching Villarreal. It's hard. They wait [for] the Champions League.

"I appreciate him. They play well, defend well and aggressively. I told him, 'Unfortunately I can't play like you'. But I really like him."

Marseille defender Alvaro said there was "no place for racism" as he denied accusations aimed at him by Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.

Neymar was sent off for hitting Alvaro in additional time in PSG's 1-0 loss to Marseille in a fiery Le Classique in Paris on Sunday.

The Brazil star later wrote on Twitter he regretted not hitting Alvaro in the face, and followed up by saying he had been called a "monkey motherf*****".

But Alvaro dismissed allegations of racism in a post of his own on Twitter.

"There is no place for racism," he wrote.

"Clean race and with many colleagues and friends on a daily basis. Sometimes you have to learn to lose and take it on the field.

"Incredible three points today."

Leandro Paredes, Layvin Kurzawa, Jordan Amavi and Dario Benedetto were also sent off in additional time.

Florian Thauvin's goal was enough for Marseille to win 1-0, condemning PSG to a second defeat to begin the Ligue 1 season.

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo criticised the club's players for losing their minds following a foul-tempered Le Classique defeat to Marseille.

Neymar was one of five players sent off in a fiery finish at the Parc des Princes, where Ligue 1 champions PSG fell to a 1-0 loss to rivals Marseille on Sunday.

Marseille snapped a 20-match winless streak against PSG, not before host trio Neymar, Leandro Paredes, Layvin Kurzawa, and Jordan Amavi and Dario Benedetto were red-carded in additional time.

Florian Thauvin's 31st-minute volley left PSG winless from their opening two matches of the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season, and without a goal from the club's first two league games for the second time after 1978-79.

Afterwards, Leonardo hit out at the players but the Brazilian was particularly critical of the officiating and scheduling.

"Fourteen yellows and five reds means the game was out of control, I'm not going to defend indefensible behaviour, I don't understand," Leonardo told Telefoot.

"Do a Clasico on the third day ... nobody is 100 per cent in the conditions, I do not understand why you do not have [Clement] Turpin or [Ruddy] Buquet [best French referees], we choose a 34-year-old referee who does not have the experience for a match like this.

"Now is not the time for a Clasico, we had Turpin, we need referees like that for matches of this level. We lost our minds."

On the brawl, Leonardo added: "The TVs have the pictures, it will be judged. There are five reds, which is serious too. You have to know what happened and judge everything. The game was out of control.

"I didn't understand VAR either, I think OM's first goal is offside but not the second. It was a game without control. Turpin or Buquet should have been there. They would have been more prepared. The fight is very serious, we will manage internally, we will talk to our players."

Leonardo was also asked about head coach Thomas Tuchel, with PSG winless from their two Ligue 1 matches to start the season.

Former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri was previously linked with PSG, despite Tuchel leading the French powerhouse to their first Champions League final.

"After a match like that, asking the question is a bit complicated," Leonardo responded when quizzed about Tuchel. "The calendar ... today was the first day of some championships in Europe.

"There are a lot of things: we leave the Champions League and resume immediately, we had the problem of COVID-19. We cannot forget the very complicated context!

"We need consistency to be a little better. This is not to criticise the French championship, but that we are discussing."

Eduardo Camavinga admitted he is flattered by Real Madrid's interest but the Rennes sensation remains focused after opting to remain at the French club in 2020-21.

Camavinga has been strongly linked with LaLiga champions Madrid, while Ligue 1 titleholders Paris Saint-Germain are also reportedly eyeing the 17-year-old midfielder.

France's youngest debutant since 1914 after making his bow in the country's 4-2 Nations League win over Croatia, Camavinga has already committed to playing for Rennes this season.

Asked about Madrid's reported interest, Camavinga – contracted at Rennes until 2022 – told Telefoot: "Certainly when a big club is interested, it is nice. But I am not getting carried away.

"I took this choice with my family [to stay at Rennes]. Today we are happy to have made this decision. I just need to focus on football and not think too much about everything else around it.

"Life is very good at the moment. Life is very good at the moment."

Camavinga made 36 appearances in all competitions for Rennes last season as the Ligue 1 outfit qualified for the Champions League.

He has scored one goal and supplied one assist in three Ligue 1 games for Rennes this term, with Julien Stephan's unbeaten side boasting seven points.

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel said he was not happy with his team's reaction after a brawl against Marseille as the Ligue 1 champions suffered back-to-back defeats.

PSG superstar Neymar was one of five players sent off in a fiery finish to Le Classique at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

Marseille snapped a 20-match winless streak against rivals PSG, not before host trio Neymar, Leandro Paredes, Layvin Kurzawa, and Jordan Amavi and Dario Benedetto were red-carded in additional time.

After succumbing to Florian Thauvin's 31st-minute volley, Tuchel tried to downplay the defeat as Champions League runners-up PSG opened the 2020-21 season with consecutive losses.

"I'm not angry at all, the challenge is to separate the performance from the result," Tuchel told Telefoot.

"I didn't like our reaction in the last three minutes. I don't agree with that, it was too much. I'm going to suffer from this reaction."

Tuchel, whose PSG lost their first two games of a Ligue 1 season without scoring for the second time in the club's history after 1978-79, added: "I don't like the result. We had a great game, a great performance.

"I'm very happy with the efforts of my team. If we continue to play like that, we will win all the games. I'm very happy.

"It's not usual for us not to score. We have to go back to the context of this match. We have exceptional statistics. It was a great game. I'm not at all worried. I'm happy as a coach. We still lack players, we have a very small squad."

While Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi were absent, PSG were able to hand a debut to new signing Alessandro Florenzi, who arrived from Roma on an initial loan.

Tuchel has made it clear he wants reinforcements following the departures of Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani as the German boss looks to build on PSG's memorable run to the Champions League final, while the French powerhouse remain in discussions regarding a new contract for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

Asked about PSG's transfer plans, Tuchel said: "Are there going to be new players? I really hope.

"It's no secret, we lost five players including Choupo-Moting. It's going to be complicated, we play a lot of matches. I don't know if other teams that have played in the Champions League should play so much games."

Neymar said his only regret was not hitting Alvaro in the face after being sent off in Paris Saint-Germain's loss to Marseille.

The Brazilian star was one of five players red-carded in additional time in a chaotic finish to Le Classique at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

Neymar seemingly accused Alvaro of racism when speaking to the fourth official as he left the field, replays showing him to have struck the defender in the back of the head.

After the game, Neymar posted on Twitter, writing he should have struck the Marseille man the face.

"The only regret I have is that I didn't hit this a****** in the face," he wrote.

Leandro Paredes, Layvin Kurzawa, Jordan Amavi and Dario Benedetto were also sent off in additional time.

Florian Thauvin's goal was enough for Marseille to win 1-0, condemning PSG to a second defeat to begin the Ligue 1 season.

Andre Villas-Boas insisted there is no room for racism in football but does not believe Marseille defender Alvaro racially abused Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.

PSG's talisman was one of five players to see red in stoppage time of a frantic Classique clash at Parce des Princes on Sunday, with Marseille coming out 1-0 victors.

Neymar, along with team-mates Leandro Parades and Layvin Kurzawa, was one of the players to receive his marching orders, with Marseille duo Jordan Amavi and Dario Benedetto also sent off.

Brazil superstar Neymar was sent off after referee Jerome Brisard consulted the pitchside monitor – with the replays showing the forward had punched Alvaro on the back of the head.

While storming off, Neymar seemed to suggest he had been racially abused by the centre-back, and the 28-year-old then used his Twitter account to post: "The only regret I have is for not being in the face of this a******," seemingly in relation to the incident.

However, Villas-Boas does not think Alvaro – who earlier accused Angel Di Maria of spitting at him – would have committed such an offence, though he insisted if any abuse did occur then it was a serious problem.

"I don't know. I hope not, there is no place for racism in football," Villas-Boas said in an interview with Telefoot.

"It's a serious fault if it happened but I don't think so. Before that, we had a situation with a spit from Di Maria. 

"These are things to avoid in the world of football. I hope it won't be a black spot in this historic performance."

Florian Thauvin's goal ultimately proved decisive for Marseille, with Di Maria seeing a goal ruled out for offside.

Benedetto also had a goal disallowed, with a marginal offside call upheld by VAR despite the replays suggesting Thauvin had stayed onside in the build-up.

Despite the torrid finale, Villas-Boas was left to reflect on a hard-fought triumph which ended a 20-game winless streak against PSG.

"Yes it's an important and historic victory, it's a tough and difficult victory as always," Villas-Boas said. 

"It's a great victory. We improved little by little with a little more control. We were disciplined defensively. It should finish 2-0, but I don't know why the referee didn't give the second goal.

"Di Maria and Neymar were incredible. I congratulate them because it's hard after COVID-19 to present yourself like this. They did well and fought for 90 minutes. It was the moment for us. We were confident."

Paris Saint-Germain's poor start to their Ligue 1 campaign continued as they fell to a 1-0 home defeat against Marseille in a foul-tempered Classique in which five players, including Neymar, were sent off late on.

Having been without seven first-team stars for Thursday's loss to Lens, Thomas Tuchel was able to welcome four of his regulars back into the fold on Sunday, yet it was Andre Villas-Boas' side – who lost 4-0 in the corresponding fixture last season – that claimed the points at Parc des Princes, where a limited number of fans were allowed in attendance.

Florian Thauvin's 31st-minute volley settled the encounter, which ended in ridiculous scenes as referee Jerome Brisard dished out red cards like confetti following a stoppage-time brawl.

Neymar, who earlier missed a golden chance, was among them, with the forward receiving his marching orders for hitting Alvaro, who he seemingly accused of racism when speaking to the fourth official as he left the field.

Leandro Paredes reacted violently to a foul from countryman Dario Benedetto, with both Argentinians dismissed along with Layvin Kurzawa and Jordan Amavi for their parts in the ensuing fracas.

 

Neymar, Angel Di Maria, Leandro Paredes and Keylor Navas have been included in Paris Saint-Germain's squad for Sunday's Ligue 1 clash with Marseille after a period of quarantine.

The quartet missed PSG's 1-0 loss to Lens in their opening game of the 2020-21 campaign last Thursday after contracting COVID-19 during the close season.

However, all four players have since returned negative tests and Thomas Tuchel revealed at his pre-match news conference that the quartet would be considered for selection if they came through training unscathed.

It has now been confirmed that attacking duo Neymar and Di Maria, plus midfielder Paredes and first-choice goalkeeper Navas, are part of PSG's 21-man squad for Le Classique.

Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and Marquinhos also returned positive tests last week and remain absent for the clash at the Parc des Princes.

Speaking on the eve of the match, Tuchel questioned why one of the standout fixtures in the Ligue 1 calendar was being staged so early in the campaign.

"I am surprised that such an important game is scheduled for the third match day," he told reporters.

"I think such a game should be scheduled for October or November when both teams have got into a rhythm.

"Everybody wants to win at their best level but it's not possible if it's only the second game in Ligue 1. Personally I don't understand the decision."

Neymar is poised to return to action for Paris Saint-Germain against Marseille in a Classique that Thomas Tuchel thinks has come too early in the Ligue 1 season.

After recovering from coronavirus, Brazilian forward Neymar is back in training with PSG and appears likely to be involved in Sunday's big match at the Parc des Princes.

He missed the 1-0 defeat to Lens as the Champions League runners-up made a disappointing start to their domestic campaign.

Neymar was one of a host of star names to be ruled out of that match after COVID-19 positive tests, but he, along with goalkeeper Keylor Navas, playmaker Angel Di Maria and midfielder Leandro Paredes have now returned negative results.

They, along with new signing Alessandro Florenzi, are in line to play some part, with Tuchel waiting until a light training session on Sunday before settling on his line-up plans.

"We won't be taking risks," Tuchel said. "That is not what we are going to do. After two days of training, if the players are ready and there are no medical risks we will make the decisions.

"I don't need to ask them if they want to play, but I'll have to decide [on Sunday]. It will be a question of whether they start on the pitch or on the bench."

The German head coach cannot understand why French league chiefs decided such a headline fixture should come so soon this season.

"I am surprised that such an important game is scheduled for the third match day," Tuchel said in a news conference.

"I think such a game should be scheduled for October or November when both teams have got into a rhythm.

"Everybody wants to win at their best level but it's not possible if it's only the second game in Ligue 1. Personally I don't understand the decision."

Yet PSG are determined to take a positive attitude into their home fixture, seeing the opportunity to relaunch their campaign after the false start.

"We're not afraid. We're ready to play every match," Tuchel said. "We know our fans love it when we win matches like this. It's not easy for us. We have to adapt and prepare to overcome the obstacles in matches like this."

Tuchel confirmed Marquinhos, Mauro Icardi and Kylian Mbappe, who also tested positive for COVID-19, will miss the Marseille match.

But the overall picture is looking increasingly positive, as PSG target their first points of the campaign.

"We want to show we want to win again, that we wanted to keep winning after a loss," Tuchel said.

"I can understand that some teams think it is the only time and the only moment to really face us and beat us, so maybe, yes, it is a good time to play against us, but we still have our features and qualities and we will show them that tomorrow."

Neymar has signed a deal with sportswear giant Puma after ending his contract with Nike early.

Brazil superstar Neymar recently announced the end of his association with American giant Nike two years before the end of a contract that was reportedly worth €100million.

Puma said in a release the Paris Saint-Germain forward will don the "legendary Puma King football boot", while also becoming a brand ambassador off the pitch and styling the company's "lifestyle, training, and sport-inspired footwear and apparel products".

Speaking about the new link-up, Neymar – who tweeted about the announcement with the tagline "The KING is back" – said his decision was in part inspired by Puma's past associations with legends such as Pele and Diego Maradona.

"I grew up watching videos of great football legends such as Pele, [Johan] Cruyff, [Lothar] Matthaus, Eusebio and Maradona," quotes attributed to Neymar in the release read. 

"These were the KINGs of the pitch, the KINGs of my sport. I wish to bring back the legacy that those athletes created on the pitch. They each played in PUMA, and each of them created their magic in The KING.

"Every time I lace my boots, my KING boots, I will do anything to achieve all of my dreams to honour my name and that of all those great ones who wore the KING before me. This will be my PUMA history. The KING is back!"

Neymar had been associated with Nike since the age of 13, while it represents a significant boost for Puma who have lacked a huge global name since Usain Bolt's retirement from athletics.

Puma CEO Bjorn Gulden added: "Neymar Jr joining our PUMA Family is fantastic. 

"He is one of the best players in the world and extremely influential for the global football and youth culture. We are very excited and look forward to working with him both on and off the pitch."

Jadon Sancho has been tipped to swap Borussia Dortmund for Manchester United.

But the England international remains in Germany and United are growing frustrated.

Could United move on from the Dortmund sensation?

 

TOP STORY – UNITED READY TO PULL PLUG ON SANCHO

Manchester United are ready to give up on signing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to the Daily Star.

Sancho has emerged as United's top transfer target, but the Premier League giants have been unable to negotiate a deal with Dortmund.

With United and Dortmund apart in their valuation of Sancho, the Red Devils are frustrated and could turn to alternative targets.

Juventus attacker Douglas Costa, Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix and Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale are possible options.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca claims Barcelona are contemplating a loan move for Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, who left Camp Nou for the Gunners in 2011. Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked, while Barca will only target the Spaniard if they are able to part with Nelson Semedo.

- Staying at Camp Nou and Barca are targeting Sevilla's star centre-back Jules Kounde. The front page of Saturday's Mundo Deportivo says Barca could wait 12 months to secure a deal. Mundo Deportivo also reports Emerson could be included in a deal to prise Lyon captain Memphis Depay to the embattled LaLiga giants.

Tottenham have had an offer for Torino striker Andrea Belotti rejected, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. Spurs proposed a loan deal with an option to buy the Italy international for €50million (£46m). Di Marzio also claims Tottenham will not be signing Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik, who has been linked to Roma and Juventus.

Chelsea are ready to loan out winger Calum Hudson-Odoi, says 90Min. The Englishman has previously been linked to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

- Remaining at Stamford Bridge and Fabrizio Romano reports Chelsea will consider a move for West Ham's Declan Rice after having a bid accepted for Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Inter are ready to sell defender Milan Skriniar as they eye Hellas Verona's Marash Kumbulla, according to Calciomercato. It comes as Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte tries to sign Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante and full-back Marcos Alonso.

Paris Saint-Germain have signed utility player Alessandro Florenzi from Roma on a season-long loan with the option to buy.

The 36-cap Italy international emerged through Roma's academy in 2011 – initially as a midfielder – and has made 280 appearances for the Serie A club.

He was named captain in 2019 but spent the second half of last season on loan with Valencia, appearing 14 times in all competitions.

PSG boss Thomas Tuchel confirmed on Wednesday he was in the market for a new right-back and a deal has now been agreed with Roma.

The French champions, who have also been linked with Arsenal's Hector Bellerin, announced Florenzi's arrival on their official website on Friday.

"I'm really proud and happy to become a Paris Saint-Germain player," the 29-year-old said.  

"They're one of the major clubs in Europe today, confirmed by their run to the Champions League final last month.

"I'm keen to give my best for Paris Saint-Germain and the supporters. We have extraordinary challenges ahead of us this season.

"It will be a pleasure and an honour to face them alongside my new team-mates, who are among the best players in the world."

PSG, without seven first-team players due to positive coronavirus tests, lost 1-0 to Lens on Thursday in their opening game of the 2020-21 campaign.

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