Either through injuries or dips in form, Luis Suarez has started to show signs of regression at Barcelona and they are planning for a future without him.

The Uruguayan striker has been a remarkable player for Barca, but at 32 he is approaching the twilight of his career and the Blaugrana have been considering who they might want to replace him with when the time comes.

Meanwhile, one player recently heavily linked with Barca could be signing a new contract with his current employers.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA DRAW UP STRIKERS SHORTLIST

Barca have significantly strengthened several areas of their team in recent transfer windows, with Antoine Griezmann, Junior Firpo, Frenkie de Jong and Neto bolstering their options.

They are now beginning to turn their attentions to the central striker role, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The publication reports Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is the ideal target, though Barca are said to be hopeful of getting him on a cut-price deal in 2021 after he has entered the final year of his contract, assuming he does not sign an extension in the meantime.

England and Tottenham striker Harry Kane is also said to be high up their list, despite their being acknowledgement that his wages would be more of an issue than the transfer fee.

The other two reportedly being considered are Marcus Rashford of Manchester United and Inter's Lautaro Martinez.

 

ROUND-UP

Barca missed out on securing the return of Neymar in the most recent transfer window and, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, PSG are now planning to offer the Brazilian a new bumper contract.

- The LaLiga champions are also looking at midfield reinforcements with potential. Napoli's Fabian RuizEduardo Camavinga of Rennes and Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz are all being considered, though Mundo Deportivo say Real Madrid are also tracking the trio with intent.

Christian Eriksen's future has been a hot topic for the last few months, with the Tottenham midfielder's contract ending next year. Sport1 in Germany claim Bayern Munich have already been in touch with him.

Liverpool are hoping to sign Brighton and Hove Albion-owned centre-back Ben White, 21, according to the Sun. The defender is impressing on loan at Leeds United and the Reds see him as a replacement for Dejan Lovren, who is said to be eager for a move to get first-team football.

- Despite languishing 12th in the Premier League after a wretched start to the season, the Daily Mail say Manchester United will not be splashing the cash in the January transfer window.

- But the Daily Express report United have reached a "verbal agreement" with Mario Mandzukic of Juventus, who are said to be demanding £10million for the Croatian forward.

Kylian Mbappe said the faith shown in him by Didier Deschamps was worth "all the money in the world" as he spoke of the strength of his bond with the France coach.

Les Bleus beat Iceland 1-0 without Mbappe on Friday, with the Paris Saint-Germain forward missing the Euro 2020 qualifier due to a hamstring problem, and he will not be available to face Turkey in Paris on Monday.

Mbappe has not played for France since he scored in a 4-0 victory over Andorra in June, but he has been fully committed to Deschamps since the coach picked him during a tricky moment in his career.

Deschamps called Mbappe up to the France squad while he was sidelined at Monaco with his loan move to PSG pending, and the forward has not forgotten it.

Mbappe told TF1: "I think in particular that he selected me while I was not playing anymore - for a player, you don't know how much it means.

"It's a signal... a very strong signal! It is a mark of confidence that is worth all the money in the world.

"I know the coach trusts and believes in me. And once he did that, I felt I could die for him on the pitch ever since. If he told me to play in goal, I would."

Paris Saint-Germain full-back Juan Bernat was surprised Neymar remained with the Ligue 1 giants this season despite strong interest from Barcelona.

Brazil star Neymar was a constant subject of speculation in the previous transfer window, with the forward doing little to hush the rumours of a potential return to Camp Nou.

Barca were said to have offered PSG cash and up to three players – reportedly Ivan Rakitic, Jean-Clair Todibo and Ousmane Dembele – but the deal did not go through, despite the Catalan club reportedly being confident of getting it over the line.

The strained relationship between the two clubs from when Neymar left Barca for PSG for €222million two years earlier was said to have impacted discussions, though Bernat acknowledged he felt the former Santos talent was more likely to leave than stay.

"Yes, it's true that I saw him more [likely] out of the club than in it for everything that was said in the press," Bernat told Marca.

"Until the transfer window closed, anything could've happened.

"It was the best outcome for us [PSG]. He makes a difference with [Kylian] Mbappe. In the first game, as soon as he returned, he scored a goal.

"Then against Lyon he was also decisive. They [Neymar and Mbappe] are a different level.

"They are very skilled players. They carry the ball and make you suffer. Luckily we have them in our team."

Similarly, Mbappe was also linked with a move away from the Parc des Princes, with Real Madrid said to be eager to sign him.

Bernat is not surprised Mbappe attracts such interest, having seen first-hand in training that the 20-year-old is "practically impossible" to stop.

He said: "In a race Mbappe is unstoppable. If he starts [running], you're lost. When he has space, it is very complicated to slow him down.

"With the power he has it is practically impossible. Either you anticipate or there's nothing you can do. He competes very well, and that's what's going to make him very big.

"It [Madrid's interest] is normal, but he is ours and I hope he will always stay with us. He is in a big club."

Kylian Mbappe has returned to Paris Saint-Germain and will miss France's Euro 2020 qualifiers with Iceland and Turkey due to injury.

The 20-year-old forward returned from a hamstring problem in the 1-0 win over Bordeaux on September 28 but suffered a complication to the treated area, leading him to miss the 4-0 Ligue 1 defeat of Angers prior to the international break.

Mbappe joined up with the France squad but, following medical tests, the French Football Federation (FFF) has confirmed it has allowed the player to leave Didier Deschamps' group.

Borussia Monchengladbach's Alassane Plea has been called up as Mbappe's replacement.

France face Iceland on Friday before meeting Turkey on Monday in Euro 2020 qualifying.

They are second in Group H on 15 points, the same as leaders Turkey.

Mbappe has only managed six appearances for PSG in all competitions this season, scoring twice.

The former Monaco star will attempt to regain fitness in time for PSG's next Ligue 1 match, which is against Nice on October 18.

The relationship between Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar and the club's fans is "getting better", according to head coach Thomas Tuchel.

Brazil international Neymar scored his side's fourth goal in their 4-0 Ligue 1 victory over Angers at Parc des Princes on Saturday.

The 27-year-old has four goals in his five league appearances this season, all of which have come since the transfer window closed without him having secured a move away from the club.

Neymar was keen to return to Spain and former club Barcelona, although a transfer never materialised, and has been booed by PSG supporters for a perceived lack of commitment to the Ligue 1 champions.

The attention from the stands led Neymar to admit last month that "it's going to be like playing every game away from home" although he stressed his desire to leave the club was nothing to do with the fanbase.

However, Tuchel thinks his performances are now helping to heal the rift.

"About Neymar, yes, it's getting better, it's easier," he said when asked if he could see some improvement in the relationship.

"I said it's up to us, up to him to show again and again, be decisive, suffer, run to get the ball. It's not necessary to talk.

"He showed a lot of things and tried a lot of dribbles [against Angers]. He scored once again, he could even have scored more goals, but he's still capable of incredible things.

"It's up to him to show it, really, at the end of the day."

Kylian Mbappe missed the match after Tuchel confirmed he had suffered "a reaction between the scar and the nerve" on a hamstring he injured in August.

Tuchel is now waiting to learn whether the forward will be excused international duty over the next two weeks so he can recover.

"I need to ask [sporting director] Leonardo what we're doing with Kylian," he said. "We need to do some treatment. We need to wait for the agreement between the French Football Federation and PSG to know if he goes with the France team."

Paris Saint-Germain will be without both Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani against Angers on Saturday, with the Uruguay striker left out of their 19-man squad.

Coach Thomas Tuchel had earlier ruled out Mbappe, who had only recently returned from a hamstring injury.

But Tuchel, speaking at his pre-match news conference, said PSG would wait to make a decision on record goalscorer Cavani, who has been out with a hip issue since August.

Cavani "is not completely free", said Tuchel, and confirmation followed later on Friday that the front man would not be involved this weekend.

Thomas Meunier had reportedly been a doubt but is named in the squad.

Thomas Tuchel has revealed Kylian Mbappe will miss Saturday's Ligue 1 clash with Angers due to injury, leaving him a major doubt for France's Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Mbappe has featured as a second-half substitute in PSG's last two matches after shaking off a hamstring problem that had ruled him out for a month.

However, the 20-year-old aggravated the injury during his 30 minutes on the field in Tuesday's 1-0 win at Galatasaray and is now facing another spell on the sidelines.

Didier Deschamps named Mbappe in France's 23-man squad for this month's qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey, but the talented young forward may now be forced to withdraw.

"I can tell you Kylian will not be with us," Tuchel said at his pre-match news conference. 

"It is not a relapse, but a reaction between the wound and the nerve. 

"I understand time is needed to treat the wound. I have not spoken with Didier Deschamps about Kylian."

PSG have been without record goalscorer Edinson Cavani since their 4-0 win over Toulouse at the end of August, while Julian Draxler, Thilo Kehrer and Colin Dagba are all out of this weekend's clash at the Parc des Princes.

Asked for an update on the fitness of Cavani, who has returned to training, Tuchel said: "Honestly, I do not know. He is with us and is not in pain, but he told me he does not feel 100 per cent comfortable. 

"He is not completely free from injury. We'll wait until after today's training session to decide on him."

Presnel Kimpembe is PSG's other representative in France's latest squad after earning a recall for the world champions with his return to form and fitness in recent weeks.

"He is ready to play for France," Tuchel said. "I am very, very happy for him. He deserves this. He has worked very professionally and is in a good spell."

Didier Deschamps has joked Frank Lampard should consider playing Olivier Giroud more often for Chelsea in exchange for the France boss leaving N'Golo Kante out of his last squad.

Kante was recalled by Les Blues on Thursday for their upcoming qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey, having been overlooked for selection in September to recover from niggling hamstring and ankle injuries.

Deschamps revealed Lampard has previously spoken to him about not selecting the 28-year-old, who returned to action with 90 minutes against Lille on Wednesday.

However, the World Cup-winning coach wants the favour to be repaid, telling reporters at Thursday's news conference: "Lampard asked me not to pick Kante at the last break.

"If that's still the way I'm going to call him later to tell him it would be nice if you play Olivier Giroud a little bit!"

Giroud is Deschamps' preferred striker but has struggled to get a look in at club level, the 33-year-old playing just 100 minutes of Premier League football this season due to the form of Tammy Abraham.

Deschamps admitted Giroud's lack of playing time for Chelsea could work against him.

"I do not want to take away from what Olivier has done with us," said Deschamps. "He has put in some very good performances, not to mention that he is the third-best active French scorer. However, I hope his situation develops.

"Beyond his efficiency with us, it is a matter of rhythm too. He has already gone through spells where he has played less, but now it is not sufficient physically - he cannot be at his best."

Like Kante, Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is back in the France squad after missing the wins over Albania and Andorra last month because of a hamstring injury.

Mbappe has featured as a second-half substitute in PSG's last two matches after missing more than a month and Deschamps will take no risks over his fitness.

"Kylian is back from his first significant injury, so the worst is now behind him," said Deschamps. "I am not going to take risks with him, despite our two important matches.

"He has a match with PSG this weekend and then we will see his physical condition. Two 90-minute matches in three days is unlikely."

Kylian Mbappe, N'Golo Kante, Presnel Kimpembe and Steve Mandanda have been recalled to France's squad for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey, but Paul Pogba is out through injury.

After missing last month's victories over Albania and Andorra due to a hamstring problem, Mbappe has returned to action with two substitute appearances for Paris Saint-Germain and regains his place in Didier Deschamps' selection.

Kante is also included after injury issues led to him missing September's qualifiers, while defender Kimpembe and veteran goalkeeper Mandanda have been rewarded for strong starts to the season with PSG and Marseille respectively.

However, there is again no place for Pogba, who is facing further treatment on the ankle injury that hampered him earlier in the season.

The Manchester United star was initially named in the group for the September internationals but sat out - replaced by Matteo Guendouzi - before returning to club duty in an EFL Cup tie against Rochdale last week.

Pogba then played 90 minutes against Arsenal on Monday, but he was left out of United's squad for Thursday's Europa League meeting with AZ as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed the midfielder required "further treatment and rest".

World champions France sit second in Group H, their only qualifying loss so far having come at the hands of Turkey in June.

Deschamps' men face Iceland in Reykjavik next Friday before hosting Turkey, the group leaders, at the Stade de France the following Monday.

 

France squad: Alphonse Areola (Real Madrid), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille); Lucas Digne (Everton), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea); N'Golo Kante (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich); Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Jonathan Ikone (Lille), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain).

Real Madrid will be looking to kick-start their Champions League campaign against Club Brugge on Tuesday after losing to Paris Saint-Germain on matchday one, while Kylian Mbappe has his eye on a record of Lionel Messi's.

Madrid were crushed 3-0 by PSG last time out, with Thomas Tuchel's men looking extremely comfortable in a match that left Zinedine Zidane under a bit of pressure.

They have since bounced back with two wins and a draw in LaLiga and they will expect to get three points at home to Club Brugge, while PSG travel to Galatasaray.

The French champions will be able to call upon the services of Mbappe this time, having missed the Madrid clash through injury, and he is close to equalling a record set by Messi.

Below, we have highlighted the key data ahead of Tuesday's contests.

Real Madrid v Club Brugge

3 - Madrid are looking to avoid losing three successive Champions League matches for the first time in their history. They have not lost three in a row in European competition since September 1981.

50 - Los Blancos have won all three of their Champions League home matches against Belgian opposition by an aggregate score of 14-2. Their most recent competitive home defeat to a club from Belgium was 50 years ago in December 1969 versus Standard Liege in the European Cup (W4 D1 L0 since).

 

Galatasaray v Paris Saint-Germain

14 - Mbappe has scored 14 goals in the UEFA Champions League and will be aged 20 years and 284 days on the day of this match. The youngest player to 15 goals in the competition is Messi, who scored his 15th goal aged 21y 289d.

1 - If Galatasaray avoid defeat against PSG, it will be the first time they have remained unbeaten in the opening two games of a Champions League group stage since the format changed in 2003-04.

Red Star Belgrade v Olympiakos

4 - Marko Marin was directly involved in four of Red Star's five goals during the 2018-19 Champions League campaign, including two assists against Liverpool in their only ever victory in the competition.

9 - Olympiakos have lost nine of their past 11 matches away from home in the Champions League (W2), shipping at least two goals in every defeat. Prior to this run, the Greek side had won three of their previous six on the road (D1 L2).

 

Tottenham v Bayern Munich

39 - Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski has scored in 39 different Champions League matches; only Ruud van Nistelrooy (42), Karim Benzema (45), Raul (56), Lionel Messi (68), Cristiano Ronaldo (82) have scored in more.

2 - Bayern are looking to become the second side after PSG in October 2017 to score two or more goals in six successive Champions League away group matches since the competition changed to its current format in 2003-04.

Atalanta v Shakhtar Donetsk

20 - Shakhtar goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov has failed to keep a clean sheet in any of his past 20 Champions League starts – the only keeper with a longer such run in the history of the competition is Igor Akinfeev (43 starts between 2006 and 2017).

4 - Atalanta's 4-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb on matchday one was the heaviest defeat by a team in their first Champions League match since Qarabag lost 6-0 to Chelsea in September 2017.

 

Manchester City v Dinamo Zagreb

10 - Against Shakhtar, City's Gabriel Jesus scored his ninth Champions League goal – should he score in this game, he will be the youngest Brazilian (22y 181d) to reach 10 goals in the competition and youngest South American since Lionel Messi (21y 99d) in October 2008.

1 - Mislav Orsic's hat-trick on his Champions League debut for Dinamo against Atalanta was the first treble scored for a Croatian team in the competition. Only two Croatian players have scored in their first two appearances in the competition; Alen Boksic in November 1992 for Marseille and Nikola Vlasic in 2018 for CSKA Moscow.

 

Lokomotiv Moscow v Atletico Madrid

7 - Kieran Trippier created seven chances in Atletico Madrid's 2-2 draw with Juventus, the most of any player on matchday one this season. Since the start of last season, only Dusan Tadic (41) has created more chances than the England defender in the competition (32).

22 - Lokomotiv Moscow's victory over Bayer Leverkusen last time out was achieved with just 22 per cent possession, the lowest by a winning team in a Champions League match since Celtic had 15 per cent and beat Barcelona 2-1 in November 2012.

 

Juventus v Bayer Leverkusen

26 - Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 26 goals in 24 appearances against teams from Germany in the Champions League – no player has more against teams from a specific nation (Lionel Messi v English teams, also 26). This will his first appearance against Bayer Leverkusen in the competition.

78 - Leverkusen had 78 per cent possession in their 2-1 defeat to Lokomotiv Moscow, the most by a team in a Champions League match since Bayern Munich had 78.8 per cent against Arsenal in February 2014.

Kylian Mbappe is fit enough to start for Paris Saint-Germain against Galatasaray but Thomas Tuchel does not think the striker is ready to play 90 minutes.

Mbappe missed PSG's Champions League opener, an impressive 3-0 home defeat of Real Madrid, with a hamstring injury but came off the bench at the weekend against Bordeaux to make his return.

The France forward, who scored four goals in the Champions League last season, combined with Neymar for the Brazil superstar to score the only goal in a 1-0 Ligue 1 win.

Neymar is out for Tuesday's trip to Turkey, though, as he serves the final match of a two-game European ban, but Mbappe's return improves PSG's attacking options.

"Mbappe can start the game or finish it but he cannot play the whole 90 minutes," Tuchel told a news conference.

"We have specific goals, yes, but I cannot communicate them to you in a press conference, it stays between us.

"There are always things to work on, the precision in the last touch, finding spaces but also tactical points. 

"It is important that he regains all his confidence already, he had many opportunities in the last game, it's a good thing.

"I will not stop pushing him, with help you play with the best possible state of mind."

Although Mbappe is back in contention to start, PSG's record goalscorer Edinson Cavani is still sidelined and Mauro Icardi was an unused substitute in the weekend win at Bordeuax while Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is another injury doubt.

Tuchel's PSG have typically lined up with a front three but the German suggested he could switch formation in Istanbul.

"I cannot tell you everything before a big match, it's always a challenge for us to find solutions," Tuchel added.

"We managed against Real, we'll see, maybe we'll play with two attackers, maybe with three...

"We will make the decision tonight or tomorrow morning, we will present our plan tomorrow, at the meeting, to the players.

"We must wait for returns from Choupo, Mauro, see how their situation evolves."

Neymar played down his fractured relationship with Paris Saint-Germain's fans, insisting "it is like with women, sometimes you argue and spend some time without talking".

PSG superstar Neymar has enjoyed a stunning return to the team since his failed return to Barcelona, scoring three goals in four matches.

Neymar's desire to re-join Barca sparked a rift with PSG's fans, who insulted and displayed banners during the Brazilian's comeback against Strasbourg on September 14.

But Neymar has not been affected, scoring the winner in Saturday's 1-0 Ligue 1 victory at Bordeaux and he dismissed the rocky relationship with PSG's supporters.

"It is like with women. Sometimes you argue and spend some time without talking," Neymar told reporters post-match.

"However, with love and affection, you go back to normal. I am here to help PSG and I will give my life on the pitch."

Neymar added to beIN SPORTS: "I'm very happy! I love helping the team, whether it be goals or assists! I'm here for that, and I have every intention of doing that.

"I'm happy when I make the breakthrough in such tight and difficult games. Kylian Mbappe? He returned with his smile, his good mood...and his football!"

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe combined for the 70th-minute winner as PSG bounced back from their shock 2-0 defeat at home to Reims on Wednesday.

"We won this evening by getting back our good feelings in our understanding with each other, linking up, and with quick attacks! It augurs well," Mbappe said.

"My absence? It was long, difficult too. When the team loses, you want to come back as soon as possible, but you can't be hasty. It wasn't easy, but it's over!"

On the relationship between Neymar and Mbappe, PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel said: "They have qualities. They like to be together, their personalities go well together. 

"We can feel it, observe it on the field but it should not be too obvious because you have to keep a balance with other players, they must seek others. We always have to make the best decision for the team, to win, to create opportunities. We played like that today."

Titleholders PSG are two points clear atop the Ligue 1 table ahead of Tuesday's Champions League trip to Turkish giants Galatasaray.

"We played well at the end of the game but forgot to score! We created a lot of chances, but the match was close to the end," Tuchel continued. "It's the only negative point, because I'm really very happy with our performance. The team's display was really excellent, with and without the ball. It was a great performance. I'm very happy."

Kylian Mbappe marked his return from injury by teeing up Neymar for the only goal of the game as Paris Saint-Germain got back to winning ways in Ligue 1 with a 1-0 triumph at Bordeaux.

Mbappe had not featured since August 25 because of a muscle problem but came off the bench in the second half to make a telling impact for the defending champions.

The France forward was introduced on the hour mark and 10 minutes later he laid on a close-range winner for Neymar.

Victory for Thomas Tuchel's men sees them go two points clear at the top of the table, though surprise package Angers can go back level with them at the summit by beating Amiens.

Pablo Sarabia saw a goal ruled out for offside in the ninth minute, and a frustrating first half for the visitors - beaten at home by Reims in midweek - featured a booking for coach Tuchel after he expressed his disdain at a free-kick given to Bordeaux.

His side dominated throughout and Thomas Meunier dragged an effort wide before Angel Di Maria and Neymar were each denied by Benoit Costil in quick succession.

Neymar then headed wide after more good work down the right from Meunier, with PSG's profligacy forcing Tuchel's hand as Mbappe was summoned to join the action.

He wasted an early opportunity by shooting straight at Costil before Neymar sent another header off target at the far post with the goal at his mercy.

PSG's persistence was finally rewarded, however, when Bordeaux lost the ball in their own half and Mbappe broke free down the right, firing a low cross in for Neymar to tuck into the bottom-left corner.

Mbappe's cameo was arguably worthy of a goal but Costil kept his team in it with another fine save after a break from the World Cup winner, who blasted over the bar shortly after on a day when PSG should have won by a much more convincing margin.

There was controversy late on, though, as Bordeaux had an appeal for a penalty rejected by VAR despite Idrissa Gueye appearing to make contact with Loris Benito, but a point for the hosts would have been scarcely deserved.

Didier Drogba believes Paris Saint-Germain's "exceptional" strikers Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will both win the Ballon d'Or during their careers.

The pair have been instrumental in PSG's dominance of French football since linking up at the start of the 2017-18 season, scoring 115 goals between them across all competitions.

Luka Modric broke Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's decade-long stranglehold on the Ballon d'Or last year and former Chelsea and Marseille striker Drogba has no doubt PSG's potent attackers will join that illustrious group.

He told Le Parisien: "Neymar and Mbappe will one day win the Ballon d'Or. They are part of this small group of exceptional players. There are very few in the world."

While Champions League winner Drogba thinks their individual talents will be recognised on the highest stage, he was keen to point out how impressively they work together in tandem.

"Neymar likes to create spaces and Kylian likes to move into those spaces. Neymar creates and Kylian profits. It works very well," Drogba said.

"Just watch them when they are together on the pitch. They are constantly looking for each other. It's almost the first thing they do when they touch the ball. It is obvious that when they are not on the pitch, PSG are not as strong."

Neymar has endured a mixed start to the campaign after an off-season transfer saga during which he reportedly pushed for a return to Barcelona.

He was booed by PSG's own supporters during a home clash with Strasbourg on September 14 before scoring a stunning stoppage-time winner. He followed that up last weekend with another decisive late goal against Lyon.

Drogba believes the Brazilian has been harshly treated and does not think it will not take him long to be accepted by fans again.

"At the moment, it seems like it's fashionable to criticise him for everything that happened [during the off-season]. But once he's on the pitch, who can seriously say they do not take pleasure in watching him play?" Drogba said. 

"The more matches he plays, the more things will change and he will become what he was before.

"I'm sorry, but what happened this summer is what happens in all the big clubs with all the big players. There are some who want to leave and some their clubs want to keep. It's the life of modern football."

Thomas Tuchel indicated he will rotate his depleted Paris Saint-Germain squad against Reims in Ligue 1 on Wednesday as he balances an ongoing injury crisis.

Forwards Mauro Icardi, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani are all unavailable, as well as defender Thilo Kehrer and midfielder Julian Draxler, while Marco Verratti is suspended.

Neymar and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting are therefore the only senior attackers available to PSG, who are three points clear at the top of the table after six matches.

After sitting out the opening weeks of the season due to injury and uncertainty over his future, Neymar has hit late winners in consecutive league defeats of Strasbourg and Lyon.

Tuchel, though, suggested the Brazil forward could sit out the visit of Reims to ensure he is kept fresh for PSG's busy upcoming schedule.

"It's not possible to pick the same players," he told a news conference. "I'm responsible for the team, we only have two days of rest.

"Then we play in Bordeaux, then in Istanbul [against Galatasaray in the Champions League] two days later, we cannot overuse the players."

Neymar reported late to training on Tuesday but Tuchel confirmed this was authorised as the forward had a "personal thing".

The 27-year-old has yet to be forgiven by some PSG fans after making it clear he wanted to leave the club during the transfer window.

Thomas Meunier, though, feels supporters need to move on from that saga and give Neymar their backing.

"Whistling is not the answer, I'm happy with what he brings in," he told a news conference.

"Professionally he did the right thing, he did not make a story, he's convinced himself that he can still play a role in the club."

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