Paris Saint-Germain's injury problems continue to mount after Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting limped out of their Ligue 1 match with Reims on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old forward, who had made little impact on the game, received a knock and was replaced by Angel Di Maria three minutes before half-time.

PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel's frustration on the touchline was clear with Choupo-Moting potentially joining a lengthy list on the sidelines.

Tuchel is already without a number of key players, including forwards Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi.

 

When it came to Paul Pogba during the transfer window, Real Madrid and Juventus were the teams on everyone's lips.

Manchester United star Pogba was reportedly keen to leave Old Trafford in search of a new challenge.

However, another team were apparently poised to lure Pogba from the Theatre of Dreams…

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR STOPPED PSG FROM SIGNING POGBA

Neymar prevented Manchester United midfielder Pogba from moving to Paris Saint-Germain, according to Calciomercato.it.

PSG and United reportedly had an agreement in place for the transfer of Pogba, however, the Ligue 1 champions and their inability to offload Barcelona target Neymar stopped the deal.

The report says PSG were ready to pay €150million (£134m) for Pogba, who joined United from Juventus in 2016 for a then-record fee of €105m (£89m).

 

ROUND-UP

Real Madrid have an agreement with Chelsea for midfielder N'Golo Kante. DefensaCentral claims Los Blancos have the first chance to buy the France star should he be made available at Stamford Bridge.

- In-demand Dinamo Zagreb star Dani Olmo wants to leave the Croatian club in January or at the end of the season, according to Fichajes.net. The 21-year-old was linked with Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Valencia during the transfer window.

Juventus have not given up on signing Fiorentina and Italy forward Federico Chiesa, according to Calciomercato.it. The Serie A champions were keen to bring in Chiesa during the off-season but were unable to lure him from Florence.

- Sport says Paris Saint-Germain are beginning their remodelling job, with Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani facing uncertain futures. Silva and Cavani – who has been linked to incoming MLS outfit Inter Miami – are out of contract at the end of the season and are no guarantees to renew their contracts. Eric Maxim Choupo-MotingThomas Meunier and Layvin Kurzawa are available at the right price in January.

- Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic has turned down a move to Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. Mandzukic was linked to Manchester United prior to the transfer window closing.

Paris Saint-Germain made it three wins from four in Ligue 1 with a 2-0 victory over Metz at Stade Saint-Symphorien on Friday.

First-half goals from Angel Di Maria and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, his third in two appearances, sealed all three points for Thomas Tuchel's side in a match that was halted when perceived offensive banners were displayed in the crowd.

Neymar was again absent as his future remains unresolved, although the latest reports suggest he is likely to be a PSG player when they resume domestic duties in two weeks' time after the international break.

It was a particularly good result for PSG given they were also without the injured Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Ander Herrera, as Adil Aouchiche became the youngest player to start a Ligue 1 match for the capital club.

Di Maria made no mistake from the penalty spot 11 minutes in despite a ball being thrown from the crowd as he ran up for the kick.

The same section of the stadium then forced the referee to halt the match 22 minutes in while banners were removed.

Metz began to threaten after the restart around a minute later and Marcin Bulka was worried by a shot from Habib Diallo.

However, two minutes before the break, Choupo-Moting nodded in Marco Verratti's free-kick to double the visitors' lead and it was a supremely comfortable outing from then on for Tuchel's team - even though the coach earned a yellow card for making one too many comments from the dugout.

 

What does it mean? PSG displaying strength in depth

Tuchel will have been greatly encouraged by the application of some of his fringe players here, especially with his stellar front three unavailable amid a raft of injury problems.

Youngsters Aouchiche and Colin Dagba held their own and the experienced Choupo-Moting led the line well, showing PSG are unlikely to be unduly troubled on the domestic front when their squad is stretched thin.

Choupo-Moting proving his worth

He might not be the most glamorous option in attack for PSG, but Choupo-Moting was signed for just this kind of game, when the usual suspects are injured or rested. The forward responded by scoring in successive outings, which is precisely what Tuchel will have hoped for.

Delaine does not deliver

Metz left-back Thomas Delaine offered fairly poor distribution and conceded the free-kick from which PSG scored their second. It was not a brilliant outing.

What's next?

After the international break, PSG host Strasbourg on September 14, when Metz make the long trip south-west to visit Bordeaux.

Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani were injured as Paris Saint-Germain comfortably defeated Toulouse 4-0 at the Parc des Princes in Ligue 1 on Sunday

Neymar was absent from the PSG squad amid continued uncertainty over his future at the club and Thomas Tuchel lost striker Cavani 14 minutes into a goalless first half.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting came on for the Uruguayan and opened the scoring in the 50th minute with a superb solo strike, before defender Mathieu Goncalves turned in an own goal.

The result was completely overshadowed, though, as Mbappe appeared to pull his hamstring when chasing down a pass, with the France forward heading straight off the pitch before Choupo-Moting and Marquinhos added further goals.

PSG, beaten 2-1 at Rennes last week, quickly cranked into gear and Toulouse goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet made a pair of smart saves from Mbappe in the opening four minutes.

But their strong start faded fast and PSG were dealt a blow when Tuchel saw Cavani hobble off after an attempted volley, with Choupo-Moting introduced as his replacement.

Choupo-Moting was acrobatically denied by Reynet in the first minute after the restart but the keeper could do nothing about the Cameroon international's next effort.

After collecting the ball in a packed penalty box, Choupo-Moting superbly span into space and thumped a low drive in off the left post.

PSG's second goal came five minutes later, Pablo Sarabia's attempt deflecting in off Goncalves, who then gave away a 71st-minute penalty for handball after Mbappe pulled up on his 100th Ligue 1 appearance.

Reynet dived to his right to deny Angel Di Maria from the spot, but PSG added a third goal four minutes later as a sweeping move ended with Juan Bernat teeing up Choupo-Moting for a first-time finish.

Choupo-Moting was denied a hat-trick by Reynet before Marquinhos' header completed the scoring on his 250th appearance for the club, but PSG will be hoping for good news on Cavani and Mbappe.

 

What does it mean? Injury issues mount for PSG

The European transfer window closes on September 2 and it remains unclear whether Neymar will stay at PSG, but the issues for Cavani and Mbappe could force the club to keep him.

Losing one striker to injury would be unfortunate but two was a horrible stroke of bad luck that will likely leave PSG increasingly reliant on Choupo-Moting in the coming weeks.


Choupo-Moting makes his case

Eyebrows were raised when PSG signed Choupo-Moting on a free transfer last year, the forward having been released by Stoke City. He scored only three times in 22 Ligue 1 games last term.

But perhaps the 2019-20 season will be the making of the 30-year-old. Choupo-Moting took his goals very well indeed and if Mbappe and Cavani are out for an extended time he will get more chances to shine.


Nightmare debut for Goncalves

Toulouse coach Alain Casanova threw Goncalves to the wolves somewhat by asking the 18-year-old to make his debut against the Ligue 1 champions and the teenager crumbled under the pressure, scoring an own goal and giving away a penalty before being replaced by Wesley Said.


What's next?

PSG return to action on Friday, taking on Metz in their last game before the international break. Toulouse are at home to Amiens a day later.

Barcelona have a plan to land Neymar and the star forward's demands now appear to be known.

The Neymar saga is not yet over and it remains to be seen if the Brazil international will leave Paris Saint-Germain before the transfer window closes on September 2.

But Barcelona have a new plan to bring Neymar – who they sold to PSG for €222million two years ago – back to Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA HAVE NEYMAR PLAN AS STAR DEMANDS €35M PER SEASON

Barcelona have worked out a new formula to convince PSG to sell Neymar to them, according to Spanish newspaper Sport.

The LaLiga champions will offer cash and a player to the Ligue 1 giants this year and PSG can choose between either another player or more money in 2020, the report says.

Meanwhile, Neymar, 27, wants €35m net per season and a five-year deal, according to Spanish television show Jugones.

ROUND-UP

- Alexis Sanchez's possible move from Manchester United to Inter is developing slowly. The Serie A giants are confident of signing the attacker in the next few days amid talks about the division of Sanchez's wage, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano.

- With Renato Sanches having left for Lille, Bayern Munich may be looking for a replacement. The Bundesliga champions remain interested in Espanyol midfielder Marc Roca, according to AS. However, Bayern want to pay €18m while the LaLiga side are hoping for Roca's release clause – €40m.

- Valencia are eyeing a move for Radamel Falcao after the Monaco striker ended talks with Galatasaray, reports AS. The Colombia international was heavily linked with a move to the Turkish giants, but Valencia may be looking for cover for Rodrigo, who could leave for Atletico Madrid.

- Also in Turkey, Rafinha is close to leaving Barcelona for Fenerbahce, according to O Jogo. Rafinha had been linked with a move to Valencia, but the 26-year-old could now be heading to Fenerbahce.

- Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has had few chances since joining PSG in 2018, but the forward has no plans to leave, according to L'Equipe. Lecce had been linked with a move for the Cameroon international.

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