Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel has refuted suggestions Kylian Mbappe is difficult to manage.

Mbappe appeared to ignore Tuchel when he was substituted towards the end of last weekend's Ligue 1 win away to Montpellier, a 3-1 comeback victory in which the France international scored his team's second goal.

He played the entire game against Galatasaray in midweek – scoring his side's fourth goal in a resounding 5-0 win – and Tuchel is adamant the "smart" 20-year-old does not cause him any problems.

Asked if the forward could be difficult, Tuchel told a media conference: "No - we talk too much about that. Kylian always wants to play. Sometimes he is disappointed and he shows it.

"Perhaps you have the impression that he is not easy to manage. But no. It only lasts a few minutes. He's smart."

PSG travel to Saint-Etienne on Sunday on a run of four consecutive Ligue 1 wins. Tuchel, however, is expecting a tough test against opponents who thrashed Nice 4-1 in their previous home fixture.

"They're a very competitive team that plays with a very big atmosphere behind them; a bit like in Montpellier," he added. "They are a very physical, very compact team, which plays with many systems. 

"It is not clear what to expect. It will be a tough game but we are in good shape and ready to play."

Tuchel confirmed he will be without a number of players for Sunday's trip, too, including Edinson Cavani.

The Uruguayan, who came off the bench to score a penalty against Galatasaray, "felt something in his muscle", according to the PSG head coach.

Cavani is joined on the sidelines by Idrissa Gueye and Presnel Kimpembe, Ander Herrera, Julian Draxler and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who is missing for personal reasons.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said sporting director Juninho and the board will discuss the future of under-fire head coach Sylvinho as their woes continued in Ligue 1.

Sylvinho's position plunged into dangerous territory after Lyon conceded a 90th-minute goal to lose 1-0 to rivals Saint-Etienne on Sunday.

The result left Lyon – who finished third last season – winless in seven league matches and languishing in 14th position, only clear of the relegation zone on goal difference.

Sylvinho was appointed as Bruno Genesio's replacement in May but the 45-year-old Brazilian is facing the sack after nine Ligue 1 matches in charge.

"Juninho will have to think it over in the coming days," Aulas said. "We will meet in the coming week. We need to properly analyse this match.

"This was not sufficient. Juninho must think it over and tell us what he wants to do and I will decide with my board of directors. He is shaken, but we can't do nothing.

"We have a management committee tomorrow night and a board of directors on Tuesday, we must take the time to think carefully, also take into account the opinion of players, other coaches, calmly, to make the right decisions. 

"Can we be more ambitious? Surely, the team was made for that; we have on the bench a certain number of players. I have to think with the coach, with Gerard Houllier, before making a decision."

Saint-Etienne have appointed Claude Puel as their new head coach and general manager after the Ligue 1 club suspended Ghislain Printant.

Former Monaco, Lille, Lyon and Nice coach Puel returns to French football after three years away, following spells in the Premier League with Southampton and Leicester City.

Saint-Etienne announced Printant has been suspended from his duties, with the coach called for an interview "about a possible breach of his employment contract".

Puel has signed a deal running to 2022, Saint-Etienne said on their website, and Jacky Bonnevay has been appointed as his assistant at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

Saint-Etienne are 19th in the Ligue 1 table after recording only two wins in the league this season, while they have only taken one point from two Europa League group games.

Puel's first match in charge of Les Verts will come on Sunday at home to Lyon, whom he led to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2010.

Real Madrid could complete a deal for Christian Eriksen in the new year, while Barcelona have big plans of their own.

Eriksen was heavily linked with a move away from Tottenham in the close season, only for no switch to materialise as he entered the final year of his contract.

But that could change at the start of 2020, while Barca are also looking to the Premier League for a big signing.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID WANT ERIKSEN SIGNED IN JANUARY

Real Madrid are hoping Eriksen will sign a pre-contract in January, according to the Mirror.

The LaLiga giants want the Denmark international signed before joining for free when his contract expires at the end of the season.

The report says Madrid are also targeting Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino with Zinedine Zidane under some pressure at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports Tottenham are worried Eriksen will reject attempts to sell him in January.

 

ROUND-UP

- With Ernesto Valverde under pressure, Barcelona great Xavi – the Al Sadd boss – sees Manchester City star Raheem Sterling as a perfect signing if he takes over as coach, according to the Daily Mail. Real Madrid are also reportedly interested in the England attacker.

- If Pochettino leaves Tottenham, it appears there are several managers interested in moving to Spurs. The Sun reports former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri is waiting in the wings if Pochettino leaves, while the Daily Mail says former Spurs forward Jurgen Klinsmann also wants the job.

- Amid uncertainty over his future at Camp Nou, Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has ruled out moving to Qatar, according to Fox Sports. The Croatia international has previously been linked to Paris Saint-Germain.

- Barcelona are pressing for Spain not to take 16-year-old forward Ansu Fati to the upcoming Under-17 World Cup, according to AS. Fati has been a revelation for Barca this season, scoring two goals in six games.

- Linked with a move to MLS side Chicago Fire, Andres Guardado is set to stay at Real Betis. The Mexico international will sign a two-year contract with the LaLiga outfit, according to Estadio Deportivo, with his current deal ending at season's end.

- Claudio Ranieri is set for a return to coaching. The 67-year-old, who left Roma at the end of last season, could take over at struggling Ligue 1 club Saint-Etienne, according to Calciomercato.

William Saliba says Arsenal are the biggest club in England and that is why he chose the Gunners over Premier League rivals Tottenham.

Saint-Etienne defender Saliba completed his move to Arsenal on Thursday, but the 18-year-old will remain with the Ligue 1 side on loan during the 2019-20 season.

Arsenal were long seen as frontrunners to sign the highly-rated centre-back, with north London foes Tottenham making a late bid to beat Unai Emery's team to his signature.

But Saliba wasted no time in endearing himself to the Arsenal faithful by explaining why he decided to join the club instead of Spurs.

"First of all, it's a massive pleasure to sign for a really, really big English club," Saliba told Arsenal's official website.

"This is the biggest club in England for me, so it was an easy decision. I didn't think twice about signing here, so I'm really happy.

"The history, the badge... since I was little, I've been watching Arsenal play in the Champions League and so on, and there are a lot of French players who have come through here. So that really helped me to make my mind up.

"I spoke to Matteo [Guendouzi, the Arsenal midfielder]. I even bumped into him at a funfair in Paris, and that's where I told him that Arsenal wanted to sign me! He gently advised me to come here and explained what it was like."

Saliba feels it is the right move to remain with Saint-Etienne for another season before testing himself in the Premier League.

"Well, it was important first of all because I wanted to prove myself for another year at Saint-Etienne, before I come to try and establish myself here at Arsenal," he added.

"This is a big club, and when you come here, you need to be ready. So I'm going to try and have a great season with the club that developed me in order to be ready for Arsenal."

Maybe Juventus are not ready to give up on signing Manchester United star Paul Pogba just yet.

Pogba, 26, has been linked with a return to Turin and a move to Real Madrid as he looks for an Old Trafford exit.

But, just as it looked like Juve were struggling and Madrid was the midfielder's most likely destination, that may have changed.

 

TOP STORY – JUVE TO OFFER THREE PLAYERS IN MOVE FOR POGBA

Juventus could offer a fee plus three players in their move for Manchester United star Pogba, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Full-back Joao Cancelo, attacker Douglas Costa and midfielder Blaise Matuidi are the players mentioned for potential moves in the report.

Meanwhile, ESPN FC report Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has told coach Zinedine Zidane that it will be very difficult to sign Pogba this close season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are still trying to find a way to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain. According to Sky Germany, Barca are offering €100million plus two players, having given PSG a list of six that includes Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo and Malcom. That is up from the earlier offer of €40m plus two players. According to Sport, Barca have made Coutinho and Rakitic priorities to be sold.

- After being linked to Bayern Munich, Callum Hudson-Odoi is set to re-sign with Chelsea. The Daily Mail report the 18-year-old England international will sign a five-year deal worth more than £100,000 per week to stay at Stamford Bridge.

- Giovani Lo Celso apparently wants to join Tottenham, but Spurs are unwilling to meet Real Betis' £60m (€66.8m) asking price, according to The Sun, who say Erik Lamela could be added into a deal. Danny Rose could also reportedly leave Spurs and Sky Sports say PSG are interested in the left-back.

- Arsenal have beaten their north London rivals to the signing of Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba, according to ESPN FC. Arsenal will complete the signing of Saliba for £26.9m (€30m) and loan him back to the Ligue 1 club despite late interest from Spurs, the report says.

- Another reported Arsenal target, Wilfried Zaha, has told Crystal Palace he wants to leave, according to The Sun. Arsenal have reportedly had a £40m bid for the attacker rejected.

- Bayern Munich are ready to meet Celta Vigo midfielder Brais Mendez's €25m release clause, according to Kicker. Mendez, 22, was handed a Spain debut late last year and scored six goals while providing seven assists for Celta in LaLiga in 2018-19.

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