Kylian Mbappe says he will be a Paris Saint-Germain player next season "no matter what".

The World Cup winner continues to be linked with moves away from PSG, the club he joined from Monaco in 2017 on an initial loan that was followed by a €180million transfer.

Mbappe scored 30 goals in all competitions before the Ligue 1 giants saw their season suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The France forward will get the opportunity to add to that tally as the Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue and Champions League continue in the coming weeks, and he will also remain at the Parc des Princes in 2020-21.

"I'm here. I am in the project for a fourth year," Mbappe told beIN SPORTS.

"The 50th year of the club is an important year for the club, the supporters, everyone, so I will be there no matter what.

"I will try to bring back trophies with the team and give the best of myself."

Mbappe could yet be joined in staying in Paris by another key figure, as Thomas Tuchel acknowledged Thiago Silva's future has not been settled.

PSG announced their captain would depart at the end of the campaign but later confirmed an extension to take in the remaining three competitions.

Speaking of Silva after a 4-0 friendly win over Celtic, Tuchel said: "He's our player, he's our captain, and we need to talk about this after the Champions League.

"Today is the time to be focused. It looks like he's going to leave, but in football, you never know."

Kylian Mbappe and Neymar were both on target as Paris Saint-Germain ramped up their preparations for the 2019-20 run-in with a 4-0 friendly victory over Celtic. 

PSG's Ligue 1 season was curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic - as was Celtic's similarly successful league campaign in Scotland - but the French champions have a series of key fixtures still to come. 

Thomas Tuchel's side return to competitive action in Friday's Coupe de France final against Saint-Etienne, before facing Lyon a week later in the last Coupe de la Ligue showpiece. 

Of surely greater concern to PSG, though, is the Champions League quarter-final tie with Atalanta that lies ahead next month as part of an eight-team tournament in Lisbon. 

PSG are warming up nicely for that tough test and initially threatened to run up the score against Celtic, having put nine and seven past Le Havre and Waasland Beveren respectively. 

Those allowed inside the Parc des Princes saw Mbappe - sporting the new PSG strip with his team-mates - race through and blast beyond Scott Bain with less than a minute played. 

Celtic, completing a tour of France following a draw with Nice and defeat to Lyon, did not collapse entirely, though Neymar struck with a deflected 15-yard shot later in the first half. 

The start to the second period saw PSG change their entire XI but it was similarly painful for the visitors, who quickly fell further behind as Ander Herrera beat Bain with a powerful drive. 

A magnificent Pablo Sarabia volley from Marco Verratti's chipped pass then made it four. 

Meanwhile, PSG have confirmed another game to add to their schedule, playing second-tier Sochaux on August 5 ahead of the highly anticipated trip to Portugal.

Arsenal issued a strong response to Saint-Etienne after the French club criticised them over negoations concerning William Saliba ahead of the Coupe de France final. 

Saliba signed for Arsenal in a reported £25million deal last year before being loaned back to Les Verts for the 2019-20 campaign. 

Although Ligue 1 was ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Coupe de France final is to go ahead on July 24. 

Saint-Etienne will face Paris Saint-Germain in that contest and had hoped Saliba, 19, would be available for it, while Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta also expressed a desire for the France Under-20 international to have that opportunity. 

But Saint-Etienne confirmed on Tuesday they were unable to reach an agreement with the Gunners, who they claimed tried to impose "absolutely unacceptable sporting and financial conditions" on any extension. 

Arsenal insist they were willing for Saliba to extend his stay, but they wanted him to be on a specific training schedule and to not lose out financially. 

"Throughout our discussions with Saint-Etienne, our aim has been to protect the welfare of William Saliba as well as the interests of Arsenal Football Club, while honouring the terms of the loan," a statement read. 

"Despite the loan ending on June 30, we were willing to find a way for William to play in the [French] cup final on July 24, despite having no contractual obligation to do so. 

"As William is returning from injury, we asked that Saint-Etienne follow a clear training plan with William in close collaboration with us, to ensure he is fully fit for the start of next season.

"To our surprise we were unable to reach agreement to this plan which was proposed by our medical experts, and we are simply not prepared to risk the welfare of an Arsenal player.

"While it was not our primary concern, and ultimately not relevant as our training plan was not accepted, we also expected not to be financially disadvantaged by extending the loan. This was also not acceptable to Saint-Etienne.

"We know this is a disappointment for William, but he understands we are working to protect his long-term interests and those of Arsenal."

Mikel Arteta says it is his job to get the best out of Mesut Ozil, Matteo Guendouzi and everyone in his Arsenal squad when addressing whether the duo still have a part to play for the Gunners.

Ozil has yet to feature for Arsenal since football returned in England following the coronavirus-enforced break and has been named on the bench just twice in their four games.

A back injury was given as the reason for his absence in the 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final win against Sheffield United on Sunday, though Ozil continues to be linked with an exit from Emirates Stadium.

Guendouzi's future is also in doubt after he was dropped from the squad that beat Southampton last week following his altercation with Neal Maupay in the defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.

There have been suggestions Guendouzi could be sold during the next transfer window but head coach Arteta says it is his responsibility to ensure all players want to give their best for the cause.

"My job is to get the max out of everyone. If they are willing, everyone is welcome," he said.

"I always hope players want to give their best."

Pressed specifically on Guendouzi, Arteta says most young players have setbacks in their progression.

"When Arsenal picked him to come here it was because of the qualities he has," he added.

"When you're developing, you have some bumps like any other players."

Ozil is a doubt to face Norwich City on Wednesday, as is centre-back David Luiz, who damaged his right knee in the win over the Blades.

"We don't know [how bad his injury is]. He was in pain the other day when he had to leave the pitch. He is not a player that normally does that. He was uncomfortable," Arteta added.

"We assessed him yesterday [Monday] and he was a bit better but we don't know. He had a scan to do this morning to see how bad it is.

"He is very willing, he wants to play, he is always like that, but we will have to see."

One player who is tipped to have a bright future at the Gunners is William Saliba, who was allowed to remain at Saint-Etienne on loan this season after Arsenal secured his signature for a reported £25million.

Though Ligue 1 was curtailed early in April due to the coronavirus pandemic, Saint-Etienne are due to face Paris Saint-Germain in the Coupe de France final on July 24.

Arteta wants Saliba's loan to be extended to allow him to feature in that game and tempered expectations on the young centre-back for when he does link up with Arsenal.

"He needs to stay there," Arteta said. "We have an agreement with Saint-Etienne. He has been there all year. He has earned his right to play in that final if his manager wants him to do that.

"We have to give him the opportunity to do that, to enjoy that. Then we can have him after that.

"I spoke with him a few times, he has been around a few times here as well.

"As a young player he has had a difficult season with the injuries he has had but it is part of his process.

"I know how high the expectations are for him for next year but we have to bear in mind the age he's at and what he has done in the past and make sure we create the right environment for him so he can keep growing as a player."

Thiago Silva, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Sergio Rico will all stay at Paris Saint-Germain until the end of the season.

French football was halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Ligue 1 subsequently concluded early at the end of April. Final table positions were decided on a points-per-game basis and thus secured PSG the title.

But a decision on the two cup competitions, the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue, was delayed in the hope of potentially playing two finals at a later date.

The French Football Federation (FFF) confirmed earlier this month that the two matches will take place on July 24 and 31, respectively, while UEFA also announced the remaining rounds of the Champions League are to take place in Lisbon the following month.

PSG have now ensured Silva, Choupo-Moting and Rico will be available for all three competitions.

The Parisians had already announced club captain Silva, 35, will be leaving at the end of the 2019-20 campaign, but his extension means he could depart having potentially lifted three more trophies.

Choupo-Moting is also set to leave the club on a free transfer, while Rico had been due to return to parent club Sevilla at the end of June.

PSG will face Saint-Etienne in the Coupe de France, before contesting the last ever Coupe de la Ligue final with Lyon.

They are also into the quarter-finals of the Champions League having eliminated Borussia Dortmund prior to the season's hiatus.

The postponed Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue finals will take place on July 24 and 31, respectively, the French Football Federation (FFF) has confirmed.

Both matches were postponed in April due to the coronavirus pandemic, with prime minister Edouard Philippe announcing all sporting events had been halted in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19.

Although that led to the premature conclusion of Ligue 1, with final places in the table decided on a points-per-game basis, the FFF delayed a decision regarding the two cup finals, giving rise to the possibility the showpiece events could go ahead at a later date.

With the virus largely under control in France, provisional dates in late July were put forward as possibilities.

The FFF confirmed those dates on Friday, with the Coupe de France final between Paris Saint-Germain and Saint-Etienne set for July 24.

PSG will then contest the Coupe de la Ligue finale a week later, with Lyon their opponents on that occasion.

Up to 5,000 supporters are expected to be allowed into the Stade de France to watch the two matches after it was confirmed last week that stadiums will be able to open at a reduced capacity next month.

It will be the last iteration of the Coupe de la Ligue following a September 2019 decision to suspend the competition, owing to a desire to reduce the French football season's schedule.

Thomas Tuchel believes Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League prospects are "different but not impossible" after learning he will not be able to call upon Thomas Meunier and Edinson Cavani.

PSG's all-time leading scorer Cavani and Belgium right-back Meunier rejected short-term contracts to stay on for the final stages of Europe's premier competition in August, with the Ligue 1 giants having reached the quarter-finals courtesy of victory over Tuchel's old employers Borussia Dortmund.

France's top-flight was curtailed in April, with PSG declared 2019-20 champions, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

That in turn complicated matters for Tuchel's out-of-contract players, with an eye towards the Champions League and the finals of the Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France – the latter two showpieces which are yet to be given rescheduled dates.

Captain Thiago Silva, along with Layvin Kurzawa, is reportedly set to stay on for the short term, but the veteran Brazil centre-back will not be offered a deal beyond this season.

"All the players are important to create a group and a mentality and to lose these three [Cavani, Silva and Meunier] decreases the group," Tuchel told a news conference.

"We have always played with these players and therefore we lose quality with their departures, that's for sure.

"After that it will not be impossible and I am convinced that we will be very strong. We have to prepare this team for the two finals with a very good mentality.

"We played an extraordinary Champions League with everyone. It is different but not impossible."

PSG were not only depleted in terms of senior professionals on their return to training this week.

Despite making 13 first-team appearances this season, 18-year-old defender Tanguy Kouassi has rejected an extended contract and is understood to be on the verge of joining Bayern Munich.

Midfielder Adil Aouchiche will also seek pastures new, although Kouassi's exit is the one preying on Tuchel's mind.

"For Adil I can understand because it is difficult to fight for a place in midfield at a club like this," he said.

"But for Tanguy, I'm sorry because it's been a pleasure to work with him. It's different because it's no secret, I wanted to keep him with us.

"He played against Dortmund, the most important game of the season with the most tension and stake. He played at 17 when he had no contract.

"There was confidence, he would have had minutes, he could have been a key player. I can't understand and I'm sad, but that's how it is. It is difficult to understand this situation for him."

Julian Draxler could also be heading for the exit door, with Hertha Berlin reported to be his next destination, although Tuchel would be keen to keep the Germany international.

"He is with us and for the moment," Tuchel added. "I only see the two finals and the Champions League. For me he is a very important player, I like working with him, he is ready.

"I count on him in the next four or five weeks for the finals and afterwards for the Champions League.

"After that is not my choice, we have to talk and make a decision together. I really like this player, I'm very happy that he is here."

Saint-Etienne coach Claude Puel is hopeful William Saliba can remain with the club for the Coupe de France final before he has to link up with Arsenal.

The centre-back signed for Arsenal on a long-term contract last July but immediately returned to Saint-Etienne on a season-long loan.

Les Verts progressed to the Coupe de France final before the French football season was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

While Ligue 1 was decided on a points-per-game basis, with Saint-Etienne consigned to a lowly 17th-placed finish, they can still qualify for the Europa League by beating Paris Saint-Germain in the Coupe de France final.

That contest is provisionally scheduled to take place on July 24, but Saliba's loan is due to end on June 30.

"William is at the end of his contract at the end of the month," Puel said in a media conference.

"He takes great pleasure in training with his team.

"We will see what can be done to keep him a little longer with us."

 

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were among the Paris Saint-Germain stars to report back at the club's training ground on Monday.

Thomas Tuchel's first-team squad attended the Ooredoo Centre to undergo medical checks, including COVID-19 tests, ahead of a planned return to training on Thursday.

There were 27 players who reported back to the club on Monday, the notable exceptions being Edinson Cavani and Thomas Meunier, who are due to leave the club at the end of this month.

Tuchel's men are expected to have further tests until Thursday, when training will resume in small groups.

PSG have not played since their 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in March.

Ligue 1 was the only one of Europe's top five leagues to have its season declared over due to the coronavirus pandemic, with PSG confirmed as champions based on a points-per-game final table.

However, French authorities are set to allow the finals of the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue to go ahead on July 24 and 31 respectively. PSG will face Saint-Etienne in the former and Lyon in the latter.

They will then compete in the remaining rounds of the Champions League - reorganised into a form of mini-tournament in Lisbon - in August, before the 2020-21 season gets underway.

France's government will let stadiums open their doors to up to 5,000 fans next month – and football chiefs want even more spectators at the Coupe de France final.

The Ligue 1 season was abandoned in April, so many supporters will have to wait until the 2020-21 campaign begins to see live football again.

But the end of France's health state of emergency from July 11 will see restrictions eased, with stadiums and horse-racing tracks to be reopened to the public, initially at a reduced capacity.

The news came in a statement from the government that specified: "As with performance halls, activities involving more than 1,500 people must be declared, so that the necessary precautions can be guaranteed.

"The maximum capacity of 5,000 people for major events, stadiums and performance halls is in principle in force until September 1. A new review of the national epidemiological situation will be carried out in mid-July to decide whether a relaxation is possible for the second part of August."

The French Football Federation (FFF) is hoping the 5,000 figure may be relaxed sooner than September, with reports this week saying the Coupe de France final, postponed from April, is pencilled in for July 24.

Paris Saint-Germain are due to face Saint-Etienne at the Stade de France, which can seat over 80,000 spectators.

FFF president Noel Le Graet called the government ruling "an important step in the organisation of upcoming games".

"These new provisions allow us to envisage opening even more widely for spectators regarding the men's Coupe de France final at the end of July, the Coupe de la Ligue final, the semi-finals and final of the women's Coupe de France at the start of August, as well as the return of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 at the end of August," he said in a statement on the FFF website.

"The FFF executive committee will meet on Monday June 22 to consider the new measures and the upcoming calendar."

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar is preparing for a return, saying he was training even harder than he would at the Ligue 1 club.

While PSG were crowned Ligue 1 champions as the season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, they are also in the Champions League quarter-finals and Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue deciders.

Neymar, 28, has been at home in Brazil for two months amid the COVID-19 crisis, which has killed more than 308,000 people worldwide.

But the Brazil international is working hard, guided by his physical trainer, Ricardo Rosa.

"I'm here, training hard, on the same rhythm and frequency that I would in the club. Training even harder actually, with more activities to compensate for the lack of games," Neymar said, via his website.

"The intention is to be ready for when they signal the return of club activities, so I can be in the best possible condition.

"Of course that I miss the competition, but Rica made a planning that I have been following on the line."

Neymar has scored 18 goals in 22 games for PSG this season, but has been linked with a return to Barcelona.

Substitute Ryad Boudebouz's stoppage-time winner sent Saint-Etienne into the Coupe de France final with a dramatic 2-1 victory over defending champions Rennes on Thursday.

A cool finish into the bottom-right corner in the 94th minute from Boudebouz sent the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard into raptures and booked a meeting with Paris Saint-Germain on April 25.

Saint-Etienne started the brighter of the two sides but found themselves behind when M'Baye Niang resoundingly converted a 33rd-minute penalty awarded following William Saliba's foul on Raphinha.

Timothee Kolodziejczak restored parity ahead of half-time and Boudebouz - who had replaced Yann M'Vila in the 83rd minute - struck at the last, with the final whistle followed by a pitch invasion from the jubilant home supporters.

Thomas Tuchel praised hat-trick hero Kylian Mbappe for his response after finding it "difficult" against Borussia Dortmund, with the forward's partnership alongside Neymar crucial to Paris Saint-Germain.

With PSG lining up in an unfamiliar 4-3-3 formation, Mbappe struggled to make an impact during the first leg of the last-16 Champions League tie away in Dortmund last month.

However, since the 2-1 defeat in Europe, France international Mbappe has flourished in domestic action, scoring six goals in three games.

Mbappe's hat-trick on Wednesday helped PSG progress to the Coupe de France final in style, with head coach Tuchel delighted at the 21-year-old's display in the 5-1 thrashing of Lyon.

"Mbappe's been very strong these last few weeks. He had a tough time in Dortmund playing in a different position. It was clearly difficult for him against Dortmund," Tuchel told the media.

"With Neymar, they're very strong together. After Dortmund, Mbappe showed a great reaction after every training session and during the games against Dijon and Lyon.

"He's very strong, he uses his speed very well, he's very decisive. He's really in good shape."

Neymar also scored in the rout, converting a second-half penalty after Marcal was deemed to have handled the ball inside the area midweek.

The Lyon defender received a second yellow card as punishment, allowing PSG to cut loose against 10 men. Mbappe added two more goals following his first-half equaliser, while Pablo Sarabia also scored late on.

Tuchel pointed to Neymar as the catalyst for the team to produce such "extraordinary performances", the Brazilian benefiting from playing regularly after returning from a rib issue.

"Neymar was very strong, he's still dangerous. For him, the most important thing is that he plays," the former Dortmund boss said.

"He's a player who helps us to do extraordinary performances, with extraordinary results. He has to play, and it's good that he played 90 minutes.

"It is also good to have another game to play before Dortmund against Strasbourg. He needs that, he has the ability to play a lot, and when he plays a lot, he is super strong."

Neymar scored PSG's goal against Dortmund but criticised the way the club managed his injury following the defeat, insisting he had wanted to play prior to the trip to Germany.

Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain recovered from falling behind to reach the Coupe de France final with a 5-1 triumph over 10-man Lyon.

Thomas Tuchel's side remain on course for a clean sweep of domestic trophies after prevailing in a dress rehearsal for next month's Coupe de la Ligue final in the French capital.

Mbappe was the star turn but the game was closely fought until turning on a handball by Marcal, leading to a second booking for the Lyon defender and a penalty for their opponents.

Neymar coolly converted to make it 2-1, leading to the Brazilian being the target for objects thrown from the stands, and from then on PSG cut loose against 10 men, giving the final score a lopsided look to it.

Mbappe finished a solo run by flashing a shot beyond Anthony Lopes and then tapped home Neymar's cross at the second attempt to complete his treble in added time, with his late double sandwiching a goal from Pablo Sarabia.

Buoyed by back-to-back home wins over Juventus and rivals Saint-Etienne, Lyon had stood toe-to-toe when at full strength, including claiming an early lead when Martin Terrier swept home Karl Toko Ekambi's low cross.

Yet their advantage lasted less than three minutes, Mbappe providing the finishing touch at the back post from close range after Layvin Kurzawa had flicked on Sarabia's corner. The defender's assist for the equaliser came at a personal cost, though, as he suffered a cut in a clash of heads.

Having finished impressively earlier in proceedings, Terrier failed to show such composure when a dummy from Moussa Dembele put him in the clear, poking a tame effort straight at Keylor Navas.

Edinson Cavani had a goal correctly ruled out for offside and also struck the post before the end of the first half, though Lyon were the team in the ascendency until Marcal's indiscretion, with the penalty awarded after a VAR check.

PSG's triumph means they may well get the chance for revenge against Rennes, the team who denied them the trophy last season. The holders are at Saint-Etienne in the second semi-final on Thursday.

Thomas Tuchel is counting on Neymar ahead of a "decisive phase" of the season, believing he has mellowed since criticising Paris Saint-Germain's use of him prior to the defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

Neymar had hit out at the club for not playing him in any of their previous four matches before the trip to Germany, aiming to limit the risk of injury.

The Brazilian insisted such a decision had nothing to do with him, pointing the finger at the club and their doctors, as he claimed he had felt well enough to play.

Having served a suspension during PSG's 4-0 thrashing of Dijon on Saturday, Neymar is back in contention to face Lyon in the Coupe de France semi-final on Wednesday.

And Tuchel says he has mellowed since venting his frustration with the club, while the coach is relying on the forward ahead of a potentially critical part of the season, with PSG set to face Dortmund in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie next week having lost 2-1 at Signal Iduna Park.

"He [Neymar] is calmer now," Tuchel told reports on Tuesday. "In Bordeaux he had a good match, unfortunately with a red card. It was not good, but it was like that.

"I have a feeling that he is calmer. He's getting ready for tomorrow's game, he's going to play, it's necessary.

"The most important thing is that he plays, that he is with us in this decisive phase. I am happy to play with him in Lyon.

"I have the feeling that he is really ready, that he is calmer, more confident, and that he has found his rhythm."

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