I wish I could decide my career like in Football Manager.

That was the thought of Christian Eriksen after he was unable to engineer a move away from Tottenham.

The transfer window slammed shut on Monday but Eriksen is still in the headlines.

 

TOP STORY – INTER EYE ERIKSEN BID

Inter are interested in making a January move for Tottenham star Eriksen, claims The Express.

Eriksen wanted to leave Spurs prior to the transfer window closing but a departure did not materialise amid reported interest from the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus.

Now, Antonio Conte's Inter could be willing to offer Eriksen a way out of London.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to The Sun, Inter may have a battle to secure Eriksen's signature. Having been linked during the transfer window, Manchester United are reportedly preparing a shock move for the Spurs star in January.

- Marca says Neymar's father "harassed" Real Madrid with phone calls as a return to Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain became more unlikely.

- AS reports that Mariano Diaz rejected a move to Schalke prior to Monday's transfer deadline day. The Bundesliga side wanted Diaz, however, the Real Madrid forward opted to remain at the Santiago Bernabeu.

- Yannick Bolasie turned down the chance to join Russian giants CSKA Moscow over racism fears, according to the Daily Mail. He decided to swap Everton for Sporting CP on loan instead.

- What is better than one Sessegnon? Two. After signing Ryan from Fulham, Tottenham are targeting his twin brother Steven Sessegnon, says The Sun.

Dani Carvajal insisted Real Madrid could not worry about the likes of Neymar or Paul Pogba after the LaLiga giants were unable to sign the star duo.

Neymar and Pogba were linked with moves to Madrid from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United respectively, but ended up staying when the transfer window closed on Monday.

Carvajal admitted Neymar's potential arrival was discussed at Madrid, although the right-back always had his doubts.

"You saw that one day he went to Barca, another day he came with us, another day he stayed," he told El Partidazo de COPE.

"We asked the Brazilians and they told us that he didn't know, I was in doubt. He is a top-five or top-three player. Such a player is welcome on any team."

And, with Pogba also not heading to the Santiago Bernabeu, Carvajal said Madrid needed to focus on the players that were part of their squad.

"Pogba sounded a lot too," he said. "The transfer dates close differently everywhere and in the end he has not arrived.

"We are who we are and we cannot think of someone who is not with us."

There was still something of a rebuild at Madrid, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo Goes brought in.

Carvajal, whose team have collected five points from their opening three LaLiga games, said it was tough to make drastic changes at Madrid.

"There is always talk of revolution, but in a team like Real Madrid, where everyone wants to be and not everyone wants to leave, it's not easy," he said.

"Players have come to help us like Hazard, Militao, Mendy … and I think it is to complement a great workforce."

The closure of the European transfer window leaves Paris Saint-Germain and Neymar locked in an unhappy partnership.

After two years in the French capital, Neymar made it clear to PSG he wanted to move on and his intention to leave was confirmed by returning sporting director Leonardo.

Neymar became the world's most expensive player when he left Barcelona for €222million but that fee, coupled with his reported €700k per week wages, have trapped him at PSG.

Barcelona simply could not afford to bring him back, while Real Madrid were also unable to complete a deal - the Clasico rivals having earlier splashed the cash on Antoine Griezmann and Eden Hazard respectively.

So, what happens next for Neymar, PSG and Barcelona?


NEYMAR

Yet to feature for PSG this season, Neymar will presumably be brought back into Thomas Tuchel's squad. They are currently without Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani due to injury, although Neymar must serve a European ban. Whether he can have the impact the Ligue 1 champions crave remains to be seen.

There is little wrong with Neymar's domestic record, 34 goals from 37 Ligue 1 appearances is excellent, but he has not delivered in Europe. That is partly down to injuries - he has been absent when PSG exited the Champions League in each of the past two seasons - but his impact in the most important games has not been what PSG hoped.

Neymar, having failed to engineer his desired move away, must knuckle down now and cut out the theatrics that have drawn criticism from heroes such as Pele. One of the reasons for his move to Paris in the first place was said to be his desire to win the Ballon d'Or, but the past year has seen him slip out of the conversation.

At 27, he should be entering his peak years. This is the ideal opportunity to prove he can be a successor to five-time winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.


PSG

Leonardo accepted Neymar was effectively up for sale, but PSG were always going to demand top dollar for their prized asset. That nobody could afford to meet their demands should not have come as a surprise, though Barca reportedly proposed a variety of cash-plus-players deals that failed for a variety of reasons. Ivan Rakitic and Ousmane Dembele are among those said to have been offered to PSG, only for the players themselves to reject a transfer.

Tuchel's task is to ensure Neymar refocuses on the project in hand: win the league again, recapture the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue titles and progress in Europe. But one of PSG's best 2018-19 performances, their 2-0 win away to Manchester United in the Champions League, came without Neymar as Dani Alves and Angel Di Maria worked extraordinarily hard on the flanks - a job Neymar is either unwilling or unable to do.

While dropping the Brazilian could prove politically impossible, it is not out of the question Tuchel could come to the conclusion that for some games, for instance away in the Champions League knockout rounds, PSG may actually be a more effective team without Neymar.


BARCELONA  

It was never clear exactly how Barcelona saw Neymar fitting back in at Camp Nou, with their pursuit of the forward reportedly stemming from Lionel Messi wanting to be partnered with his former team-mate.

Griezmann, Messi, Dembele and Luis Suarez is already too many attackers to fit into a balanced team, which helps to explain why the Catalan giants were said to be willing to offload the France winger to PSG.

Messi and Suarez are both 32, so there would have been an element of succession planning at play – even though the Argentina superstar, the club's captain, is a player Barca will never be able to truly replace. Ernesto Valverde, a coach known more for pragmatism than expansive football, may have also struggled to find a role for such a luxury player.

Like PSG, Barca crave the Champions League after a series of underwhelming seasons in Europe. They still look to have an attack that can deliver glory, with or without Neymar.

The Neymar transfer saga is over for at least another window, but it remains to be seen how the star responds at Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar, 27, was largely expected to return to Barcelona, only for no agreement to be reached between the clubs before the window closed on Monday.

Unsurprisingly, the superstar forward is far from happy.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR ANGRY WITH PSG AFTER NOT GETTING BARCELONA RETURN

Neymar is very sad and deeply angry with PSG over his failed Barcelona move, according to Sport.

However, they also report Barcelona are convinced Neymar will return to Camp Nou in 2020.

Sport say Barca offered €150million – with €20m coming from Neymar – plus Ivan Rakitic and Jean-Clair Todibo on permanent deals and Ousmane Dembele on loan, only for the deal to be rejected.

ROUND-UP

- After plenty of debate, the Premier League will extend its close-season transfer window until September 1 next year, according to The Sun. Several clubs have been frustrated after they only had until August 8 to complete their business as the rest of Europe remained active.

- With Jill Ellis set to leave her post as United States head coach, the Women's World Cup winners have lined up England boss Phil Neville as their number one target to replace her, according to the Daily Mail.

- Manchester United are looking to the future. Sport Witness reports the Premier League giants sent scouts to watch Benfica duo Ruben Dias, 22, and Florentino Luis, 20, against Sporting Braga on Sunday, lining the pair up as two potential transfer targets.

- After collecting just five points from four Premier League games, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is getting frustrated. Solskjaer is frustrated by the failures of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to score "scruffy" goals, according to The Athletic.

Time is running out for clubs across Europe to finalise last-ditch deals but multiple big moves could yet go through.

Paris Saint-Germain are bound to be active players as Monday's transfer deadline forces heavyweights in France, Italy, Spain and Germany to make tough decisions on squad strengths and weaknesses.

Bundesliga teams have until 18:00 local time (17:00 BST) to conduct their business, while the window shuts at 20:00 local time (19:00 BST) for Juventus, AC Milan, Inter and the rest of Serie A.

All close-season movements across Europe's top five leagues will be then finalised when the deadline for LaLiga and Ligue 1 sides is reached at midnight local time (23:00 BST).


Mauro Icardi (Inter)

The Inter outcast, stripped of the captaincy earlier this year, seems set to escape to PSG, but not before another twist in his San Siro soap opera.

Reports in France and Italy suggest the striker will agree a new deal with the Nerazzurri - to prevent him from leaving on a free in 2021 - before linking up with Thomas Tuchel's team on a season-long loan.

That could be become a permanent move if, as is expected, the Ligue 1 champions negotiate an option to buy.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas is preparing to join Icardi at Parc des Princes, with Alphonse Areola headed in the opposite direction.


Bruno Fernandes (Sporting CP)

Frustrated in their attempts to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United and seemingly unconvinced by Tottenham Christian Eriksen, Madrid might finally have settled on a midfield target.

Portugal international Fernandes was linked to Manchester United and Tottenham before Zinedine Zidane zeroed in on the 24-year-old, a highly technical player with goalscoring ability.


Neymar (PSG)

The fallout that would come from the forward finally rejoining Barcelona in the remaining hours makes it a deal too important to ignore, even if it is now highly improbable.

Neymar is said to have resigned himself to another season in France but, with Icardi to be added to what is already a star-studded attack, PSG might just relax one or two of their demands.

Tuchel, certainly, could do without a full campaign of massaging the Brazilian's ego.


Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona)

Barca's late business is more likely to be focused on what to do with Croatia midfielder Rakitic, who has made no starts and a solitary substitute appearance in LaLiga this season.

Juventus are understood be keen on taking him to Turin and could even discuss a swap deal involving Daniele Rugani, though captain Giorgio Chiellini's long-term knee injury has made centre-backs a valued commodity for Maurizio Sarri.

Rakitic, usurped by Frenkie De Jong at Camp Nou, has been replaced in the Croatia squad, so does that mean he's on the move?

Ante Rebic (Eintracht Frankfurt)

AC Milan are very close to the capture of a player also admired by city rivals Inter.

Rebic is due to move to the Rossoneri on an initial loan deal that will see Andre Silva head for Frankfurt.

Eintracht sporting director Fredi Bobic and the attacker himself have already confirmed an agreement is in place, meaning only the formalities are to be completed.

Real Madrid look set to finally land a midfielder before the transfer window closes.

The LaLiga giants have been linked to numerous midfielders and, after a slow start to the season, they may make a signing ahead of the window shutting on Monday.

Madrid are reportedly close to strengthening their squad by completing a move for Sporting CP star Bruno Fernandes.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID CLOSE TO SEALING FERNANDES DEAL

Real Madrid have almost completed a deal for Fernandes, according to ESPN.

The Portugal international, 24, was linked to Manchester United and Tottenham earlier in the window.

Now, the Sporting captain looks set for Madrid, who have reportedly targeted United's Paul Pogba, Spurs' Christian Eriksen and Ajax's Donny van de Beek during the close season.

It comes just days after Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade said Fernandes was heading to Madrid for €70million.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Neymar saga will finally end – for now – with the Paris Saint-Germain star staying with the Ligue 1 champions. L'Equipe reports the Brazil international will remain with PSG, while Sport reports Barcelona will resume their pursuit of Neymar in 2020.

- That could mean a few more eyes on Mauro Icardi on Monday. PSG are in talks with Inter over a potential loan deal for the forward, according to RMC Sport and Gianluca Di Marzio.

- Pogba may still be hoping to eventually get his move to Real Madrid. The Mirror reports the France international will resist signing a new deal with Premier League giants Manchester United, with his current contract running until 2021, although the club have an option to extend that by a year.

- Javier Hernandez should get a deadline-day move from West Ham. The Premier League club have agreed to sell the forward to Sevilla for close to €8.9m (£8m), according to Sky Sports News.

- Henrikh Mkhitaryan came off the bench during Arsenal's draw against Tottenham on Sunday and he could be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium a day later. Roma are pressing hard to sign the midfielder on loan with an option to buy, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

- Phil Foden may have to wait for his chances at Manchester City, but the Premier League champions are keen to keep the teenage midfielder in their squad. The Sun reports City rejected loan bids from Rangers and Roma for the England youth international.

Will he, or won't he?

Neymar has dominated headlines throughout the transfer window, with the Paris Saint-Germain star eyeing a Barcelona return.

However, it seems he will not get what he wanted before Monday's deadline…

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR GIVES UP ON BARCA MOVE

Neymar will remain at Paris Saint-Germain after failing to secure a move to Barcelona, according to reports.

The PSG superstar wanted to return to LaLiga champions Barca, just two years after his world-record move to Paris.

Barca had tried to negotiate a deal with PSG, however, L'Equipe says Neymar has already notified the club and family that he will stay at the Ligue 1 holders.

 

ROUND-UP

- Juventus are gearing up for a late move for Tottenham star Christian Eriksen, according to The Express. Juve have reportedly joined PSG in trying to sign Eriksen prior to Monday's deadline.

- The Mirror says Real Madrid have also turned their attention to Eriksen after they were unable to prise Neymar from PSG. Madrid have also been linked to Sporting CP captain Bruno Fernandes.

- Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak and Dinamo Zagreb's Dominik Livakovic are potential targets for Manchester United, who are worried David de Gea will leave for free at the end of the season. That is according to The Sun.

- According to the Daily Mirror, Borussia Dortmund are monitoring the situation regarding Liverpool teenager Bobby Duncan. The 18-year-old reportedly had a move to Fiorentina blocked by Liverpool, prompting his agent to accuse the Reds of "bullying", accusations the club called "inaccurate" and "inflammatory".

- Fiorentina are desperate to lure Matteo Politano from Inter, reports Calciomercato. La Viola have offered €30million but Inter want €35m as they reportedly line up Eintracht Frankfurt star Ante Rebic as a possible replacement.

Keylor Navas is poised to swap Madrid for PSG and he might not be only the goalkeeper to move to Paris. Cadena Ser claims Sevilla's Sergio Rico will swap LaLiga for Ligue 1 on loan with the option to buy.

Atletico Madrid have been busy during the transfer window and they may be aiming to land another star attacker.

It appears the LaLiga giants, who have gone through a rebuild, are targeting unwanted Inter forward Mauro Icardi.

With Joao Felix having made an impressive start in Madrid, Atletico may strengthen yet again before the transfer window shuts on Monday.

 

TOP STORY – ATLETICO LOOK TO SIGN ICARDI ON LOAN

Atletico Madrid are negotiating a deal to sign Icardi on loan from Inter, according to ESPN FC.

The report says the deal for Icardi, who has been linked with Juventus and Napoli, would include an option to buy for €70million.

The Argentina international has been heavily linked with a move away from San Siro and doesn't appear to fit into the plans of new coach Antonio Conte.


ROUND-UP

- There is still plenty to play out on the Neymar front. Paris Saint-Germain still want Ousmane Dembele as part of any deal with Barcelona, according to RAC1. Meanwhile, Sport report Neymar is still optimistic and confident of a return to Camp Nou.

- Fernando Llorente has made a decision on his future. AS and Sport report the striker, who has been a free agent since leaving Tottenham, has agreed a deal to sign with Napoli.

- Giorgio Chiellini's knee injury could lead to some late movement from Juventus. The Serie A champions are interested in Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, according to Sport.

- AC Milan are looking to bolster their attack before the window closes. Gianluca Di Marzio reports the Serie A side are considering two options – Atletico Madrid's Angel Correa or Gremio's Everton – before the window shuts.

- The moves look set to continue at Manchester United. The Sun reports Matteo Darmian is set to join Parma in a €1.6m (£1.4m) deal, ending his four-season stay at Old Trafford.

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo insisted Neymar's potential move to Barcelona was not yet "dead", but admitted there was still no agreement.

Neymar, 27, has been heavily linked with a return to Camp Nou, just two years after his world-record €222million move from Barca to PSG.

Speaking after PSG's 2-0 Ligue 1 win over Metz on Friday, Leonardo said there was still time to get a deal done with the LaLiga champions before the transfer window closes on Monday.

"The negotiations aren't dead but there is no agreement because our requests haven't been accepted," he told reporters.

"We are open to talking about players, but there is no agreement.

"The position of PSG and Neymar has always been clear, if a satisfactory offer arrived then he could leave, but that is not the case."

There have been reports of numerous different offers from Barcelona, who are apparently willing to give up players as part of a deal for Neymar.

But Leonardo revealed the first official offer from the Spanish giants had only arrived days ago.

"The first written proposal of Barca was on August 27," he said.

Asked if there will be an agreement by Monday, Leonardo said: "I don't know. It depends on Barcelona."

Ernesto Valverde has grown sick and tired of discussing Neymar's possible return to Barcelona and is looking forward to Monday's transfer deadline.

Despite months of speculation and reports of various rounds of negotiations between Barca and Paris Saint-Germain, it appears Brazil star Neymar is no nearer a move back to LaLiga.

The latest claims from Spain say Barca have effectively given up hope of re-signing Neymar in this transfer window as PSG are unwilling to lower their demands for a significant cash return on a player they signed for €222million only two years ago.

It is also suggested that players such as Ivan Rakitic and Ousmane Dembele have refused to be included in a possible part-exchange deal as they do not wish to join the Ligue 1 champions.

Valverde, for his part, expects Rakitic and Dembele to stay at the club and will be a happy man when the transfer window closes.

"I'm really looking forward to that day coming and we can give everything a rest and we all know the state of everything because this has been going on a long time," he told reporters ahead of Barca's LaLiga game with Osasuna on Saturday.

"On the subject of Neymar, I have nothing to say. He's a player at another team. We respect our rivals and we'll see what happens."

He added of Rakitic: "He is a great player who has played a lot here and nothing makes me think he won't be here."

Valverde was asked what Dembele, who is sidelined with a hamstring strain, must do to find consistent form and fitness and win over his doubters in Catalonia.

"At the moment, he is injured," the Barca coach replied. "We'll have to wait and see. I'm not going to comment on anything on Dembele."

One player who is expected to leave is left-back Juan Miranda, with Schalke boss David Wagner confirming on Friday the player is in Germany to finalise a loan move.

"Last year, we put him in place as our second left-back. He has great qualities and he has to continue his development so he can come back. It all depends on him," Valverde said.

Maybe, just maybe, the Neymar transfer saga is coming to an end.

The Brazilian's future has dominated the headlines over recent weeks as Barcelona try to re-sign the wantaway Paris Saint-Germain superstar.

With the September 2 deadline looming, Barca may have struck a deal…

 

TOP STORY – BARCA AND PSG REACH NEYMAR AGREEMENT

According to BBC Sport, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have agreed terms on the value of Neymar.

The two clubs have reportedly settled on a figure of €200million for a player who left Camp Nou in a world-record €222m deal in 2017.

The LaLiga champions are also willing to offer Jean-Clair Todibo, Ivan Rakitic and Ousmane Dembele on a season-long loan, though all three players still have to agree terms.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to Gianluca di Marzio, Atletico Madrid have made an enquiry for Inter outcast Mauro Icardi. However, the race seems to be between Napoli and Monaco, who are both reportedly prepared to pay €65million for the former Inter captain.

- A swap deal involving Keylor Navas and Alphonse Areola is close to completion. RMC says Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Areola has reached an agreement with Real Madrid. Marca, meanwhile, says Navas will sign a three-year deal with PSG.

Parma are confident of signing Manchester United full-back Matteo Darmian, says Alfredo Pedulla. Former Torino defender Darmian has been virtually non-existent at Old Trafford in recent months.

- Radio Marte reporter Dario Sarnataro claims Chelsea have offered Michy Batshuayi to Napoli. The 25-year-old striker has recently spent time on loan at Borussia Dortmund, Valencia and Crystal Palace.

- Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is on the verge of moving to Roma on loan, according to widespread reports in Italy and England.

- Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny is set to join Besiktas on a season-long loan, says Goal.com. The Egypt international only made 17 appearances last season. Il Messaggero, meanwhile, claims the Gunners and Tottenham are both monitoring Roma star Cengiz Under.

Neymar will "return to Barcelona and become the player he always was" if he leaves Paris Saint-Germain as Patrice Evra defended the Brazilian superstar.

LaLiga champions Barcelona are reportedly negotiating with PSG to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou, just two years after his world-record €222million transfer.

Neymar – who is also believed to be attracting interest from Real Madrid – is yet to feature for PSG this season, while the 27-year-old was the subject of criticism by the club's fans during the August 11 fixture against Nimes.

Former Manchester United and Juventus left-back Evra criticised the treatment of Neymar as he leapt to his defence.

"I think Neymar, there are a lot of people who don't like him," Evra said. "The problem in this world is that when you are yourself, people hate you, and when you lie, people love you.

"Neymar, I often speak with him and I wish that God would realise his plans. It's always like that, when you arrive you are the king of the world, and when you leave... Looks like Neymar murdered someone. This is not the case.

"You'll see, people miss Neymar for his genius, his way of playing. It's true that with his dribbling, he sometimes gets annoyed, but it's his football, he has to stay himself. And I assure you, people will regret him very much."

Evra added: "It's simple, a football player must feel loved. When you feel too much negativity, you leave."

"There are people, and maybe even the media, who use that, who criticise him for diving too much during the games," Evra continued. "They create all this hatred around him. But Neymar is a good guy. He gave a lot to Paris.

"And then I'll tell you, we're talking about Neymar, but when Neymar didn't play in the Champions League, Paris didn't go any further. Neymar was not there for the two semi-finals. Neymar is too important for the PSG to lose him.

"I don't know if they're going to lose him, but if they do, they'll lose a great player. And he will return to Barcelona and become the player he always was."

Neymar has scored 34 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances despite both his seasons at PSG being interrupted by serious foot injuries.

In total, Neymar has managed 51 goals in 58 games for PSG – who will be without the Barca target against Metz on Friday.

Barcelona are still open to concluding a deal with Paris Saint-Germain for Neymar, according to club spokesperson Guillermo Amor.

PSG sporting director Leonardo has confirmed Neymar wants to leave the club, two years after he joined from Barca for a world-record fee of €222million.

A return to Barca has been mooted for the Brazil superstar, while LaLiga rivals Real Madrid are also reportedly interested.

Time is running out to do a deal for the 27-year-old, though, as the European transfer window closes on Monday.

Some outlets claimed Barca have reached an agreement with PSG. However, reports in France then suggested this was premature.

Ousmane Dembele is believed to have been offered to PSG as part of the deal, although the forward's agent has said he wants to stay at Camp Nou.

Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic is also reportedly involved in a cash-plus-players transfer, but further complicating matters is PSG needing to secure a replacement for Neymar.

While Amor was unwilling to give details about the ongoing talks, he hinted Barca will keep the door open for Neymar to come back for as long as possible.

"It's a topic it's not good to talk about," Amor said to Movistar. 

"There is nothing to be commented on. We'll see [what happens] until Tuesday."

Amor was speaking to the media after Thursday's Champions League draw, which pitted Barca against Dembele's old club Borussia Dortmund, who now have Paco Alcacer in attack, as well as Inter and Slavia Prague.

European success will be demanded of Ernesto Valverde's side after two successive frustrating campaigns since he took charge, with Barca throwing away a 3-0 lead against Liverpool in the semi-finals last term.

"It is a strong group. I have always had a lot of respect for Slavia. It is a powerful group," Amor added.

"In the end it depends on how you get there. We really want to face it, we will go for this competition again.

"We have the experience from last year and the others, we will have a lot of concentration and mentally we will be strong."

Thomas Tuchel expects Paris Saint-Germain will face big atmospheres in the Champions League after they were drawn with Real Madrid, Club Brugge and Galatasaray.

PSG are still seeking their first European crown and have been knocked out in the last 16 in each of the last three seasons, after a run of four successive quarter-finals.

Tuchel's side failed to get to the last eight in 2018-19 when they squandered a first-leg lead earned at Old Trafford to crash out at home to Manchester United in the round of 16.

That defeat put pressure on PSG coach Tuchel, who also saw his side fail to defend either their Coupe de la Ligue or Coupe de France titles.

PSG were knocked out by Madrid in 2017-18, Neymar's first season at the club, with the Brazilian superstar now reportedly a target for the LaLiga giants.

Neymar's future remains uncertain ahead of the September 2 European transfer deadline, but Tuchel was satisfied with his side's position in Group A of the Champions League.

"These are three big atmospheres and very nice atmospheres to play football," Tuchel told PSG's official Twitter account.

"We know like every year that we must be ready from the first match. We will be well prepared to show form from the start."

The group stage gets under way in mid-September, with the final due to be held in Istanbul on May 30 next year.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi added: "We do not have an easy draw but it's the Champions League, we do everything we can to get ready.

"Real Madrid is a big club, we have a lot of respect for them, but we're PSG, we need to prepare well for this match, it's a good preparation for us, the goal is to go as far as possible."

Thomas Tuchel has admitted he cannot be sure Neymar will remain a Paris Saint-Germain player when the transfer window closes.

The PSG boss said on Thursday he intends to continue overlooking the Brazil forward for selection until there is clarity about his future.

Neymar has been strongly linked with a return to LaLiga with his former club Barcelona, just two years after swapping clubs in a world-record €222million deal, while Real Madrid are also rumoured to hold an interest.

The 27-year-old returned to training earlier this month after recovering from an injury sustained prior to the Copa America, but he has yet to feature for his club in 2019-20 and will once again be left out against Metz on Friday.

"His situation has not changed since the Toulouse match," Tuchel said, when asked for an update on the long-running transfer saga at Thursday's news conference.

"All I can say is that I am calm, relaxed. The world of football can be crazy. Now is not the time to lose our heads. Anything could happen. Perhaps nothing will change.

"It is a bit late to impose a deadline. We will see on September 2."

The transfer window for major mainland European clubs remains open until Monday and a delegation from Barcelona was reportedly in Paris earlier this week to discuss a deal.

However, PSG are said to have rejected the Spanish champions' latest offer of €150m in instalments plus Ivan Rakitic and Ousmane Dembele, who Tuchel worked with at Borussia Dortmund.

"Dembele? We know each other. A lot of things are said," Tuchel told reporters.

"I will not speak about a player from another club. He is under contract. I will not be speaking about him today."

It could be a busy conclusion to the transfer window for PSG, with Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas being tipped to join. 

"I cannot confirm anything," Tuchel said. "Alphonse Areola will be in goal against Metz. Marcin Bulka will be his number two."

PSG lost Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Abdou Diallo to injury in the 4-0 win against Toulouse last time out and are also still without Julian Draxler, Thilo Kehrer and Ander Herrera, meaning a recall to the squad for outcast forward Jese Rodriguez.

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