Mauricio Pochettino hopes his Paris Saint-Germain side are able to make Lille feel the heat on the final day of the Ligue 1 season.

PSG's title defence will be over on Sunday if surprise leaders Lille get a better result at home to Saint-Etienne than Pochettino's men are able to manage when Reims visit the Parc des Princes.

If Lille win, the best PSG can hope for heading into the final weekend is having a three-point deficit to overturn.

Following the midweek penalty shootout triumph over Montpellier in the semi-finals of the Coupe de France, Pochettino believes his players have got last weekend's disappointing 1-1 draw at Rennes, that handed Christophe Galtier's side an advantage they appear unlikely to relinquish, out of their system.

"We don't want to repeat the problems that we made last week with Rennes. I think that is key," he told a pre-match news conference.

"We need to stay in control of the game to go after a victory and get three points that would keep us in the title race until the last day of the season

"We are motivated, nobody needs motivation. We are motivated to win tomorrow and put the pressure on Lille. We are not thinking about following their game

"We are focused on our match and getting three points because that would give us a chance. Our fate is not in our hands, but we need to make sure that we get our job done."

As is now customary at Pochettino briefings, Kylian Mbappe's future was raised.

The former Tottenham boss offered no updates on any potential new contract, choosing instead to make light of the France superstar's boisterous midweek goal celebrations.

"Thanks to that celebration I have some back pain, which I am having physio treatment for," he chuckled.

"Paris Saint-Germain have an ambitious project in place and keeping a player like Kylian is a key priority for all of us."

PSG will be without Neymar in the cup final after he collected a booking during an at times fraught encounter with Montpellier, subject to an appeal

"This is something the club is handling over the next few days," Pochettino confirmed. "We will see what the decision is and what we can do. But it is something we are thinking about."

Even without Neymar or Mbappe in the short or long term, PSG do not lack for attacking options, although Argentine striker Mauro Icardi has been off colour of late.

The former Inter captain is without a goal in his past four appearances, with a particularly lacklustre showing during the Champions League exit to Manchester City seeing him restricted to 16 touches at the Etihad Stadium.

Nevertheless, Pochettino believes his countryman can still contribute within his preferred high-octane style of play.

"At Tottenham we had different options in terms of style of play, transitions and playing high at different stages," he explained.

"They depend on how well the team was doing, this depends on how you build a team over time, getting to know your players very well and their attributes.

"Mauro Icardi can adapt to any style. He is a top player and that doesn't just apply to transitions, he is dangerous in the box and a clinical finisher.

"These are things we can all work on together and we need to build it over time with the team, bearing in mind the players' attributes so you can create the right dynamics in the team to give you the flexibility that the game requires."

Neymar has questioned French football's lawmakers after being banned for Paris Saint-Germain's Coupe de France final against Monaco next week.

The Brazil international was booked four minutes after being brought off the bench in Wednesday's eventful 2-2 semi-final draw with Montpellier, which PSG won 6-5 on penalties.

Neymar, who sat out two matches after being sent off against Lille last month, has triggered a one-game suspension linked to his punishment for that previous offence.

The league's disciplinary committee met and it has been confirmed Neymar will not be available for the showpiece against Monaco at the Stade de France.

Reacting to the news on his personal Instagram page, Neymar posted: "I would like to understand the reasoning of the guy who takes care of bookings in France! 

"That deserves applause. What a mess."

Neymar's outburst could land him in further trouble with disciplinary chiefs, having also hit out at referee Jeremie Pignard following the win against Montpellier.

"I play five minutes, I commit a foul and he gives me a yellow without even thinking," Neymar posted on social media earlier this week.

"Thank you for suspending me for the final. I think it was personal."

Mauricio Pochettino's PSG may be relying on next Wednesday's Coupe de France final to salvage their campaign.

They trail Ligue 1 leaders Lille by three points with two games to go - the first of those is at home to Reims on Sunday - and were knocked out of the Champions League by Manchester City at the semi-final stage.

Neymar penned a new four-year deal with PSG last week and has featured 29 times for the French giants in all competitions this season, scoring 16 goals.

Lille winning Ligue 1 would be "something huge for French football" according to their former striker Eder.

Christophe Galtier's side could be crowned champions on Sunday when they host Saint-Etienne, if their result in that match betters Paris Saint-Germain's efforts against Reims.

Even if the race goes to the final weekend, a three-point lead with two games to play and the title race being in Lille's hands represents a phenomenal achievement.

PSG have won seven of the past eight top-flight titles in France, but Eder has observed a competition reborn this season – something he feels would be validated by Lille completing an unlikely march to glory.

"I think it's amazing for the championship because a lot of people have been saying that the French championship is PSG and no others," he told Stats Perform.

"I think that a lot of people, a lot of teams this year have been proving that they are there to compete with PSG, like Lyon and Monaco. They are having a great season.

"Lille have been doing amazingly well and I think that this is going to be something huge for French football."

Eder represented Lille between 2016 and 2018, a span that took in his undoubted career highlight – a goalscoring turn off the bench to snatch a 1-0 extra time victory for Portugal over hosts France in the final of Euro 2016.

The Portuguese link at Lille remains strong, with veteran centre-back Jose Fonte and playmaker Renato Sanches team-mates of Eder's in Fernando Santos' Euro 2016 squad.

Fonte and Sanches are joined by countrymen Tiago Djalo and Xeka in Galtier's side.

"We have groups of chats, and we are always cheering for Jose Fonte," Eder added. "We have our fingers crossed and we hope that he is going to win."

Fonte has played 35 of Lille's 36 Ligue 1 games this season.

Of defenders to have played more than 20 times in the division, none can better the 37-year-old's 68.7 per cent duel success rate.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he expects a subdued transfer market this off-season amid speculation regarding Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho, with the German wary of spending.

Paris Saint-Germain's Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund duo Haaland and Sancho – both reported Liverpool targets – have been linked with big-money moves at the end of the season.

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on and off the field, with clubs counting the financial cost of COVID-19.

Liverpool could be further impacted by their failure to qualify for next season's Champions League – the Reds are sixth in the Premier League table and seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with two games in hand.

Klopp, whose Liverpool were dethroned by Manchester City in the Premier League this season, played down talk of a spending spree in a bid to revive the club's fortunes.

"Not playing Champions League doesn't help, obviously, but it is not our biggest problem because the market will be really strange," Klopp said of Thursday's showdown against rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.

"I hear a lot about big-money moves – is Kylian Mbappe going or not, Haaland, Sancho – I don't see that happening because the football world is still not in the same place it was before.

"We will see how the market develops but it will not be an early market, for sure.

"If we don't go to the Champions League it is not good but there is still a chance and as long as we have a chance we should not speak about it as if we have no chance. And if it is not then we have to deal with that."

"Do I know what we have to work with? Yes, not a lot, anyway," Klopp said. "We cannot speak for years and years about our structure or whatever, it is always how it is.

"It depends to the business, what happens, if someone wants to leave or if players want to go, if we sell, so we can never really plan early.

"… Getting the injured players back makes us already better. These are our first transfers. We don’t know exactly when that will happen but it will happen at one point. All the rest we have to see."

Klopp has managed away at United without ever winning more times than any other opponent in his managerial career (six – D4 L2).

Liverpool have won just two of their six midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) Premier League games this season (D1 L3), with both of those victories coming against Tottenham. The Reds have failed to score in the four games they did not win.

Klopp added: "Can we challenge Man City next season? And Chelsea. And Manchester United.

City and Chelsea have always had [financial] advantages in this and we still won the league and the Champions League, so it is our situation to work like we work and I never look at other clubs and say 'we can't do this' or 'we can't do that'.

"The only thing I am interested in, and I said this earlier when I arrived here, I am not interested in being the coach of the best team in the world. I am interested in being the coach of the team who can beat the best team in the world.

"If two or three of them play in our league then we will try to beat them and some others as well so we have enough points to win something. It is absolutely not the situation to moan or cry. I am not going to cry about our situations. Our situation is fine.

"A year ago people didn't know exactly how football would go on. Only one year later we speak about what we can do in the transfer window. People talk about changing the football structure completely, the German model, I can tell you the budget will go down massively.

"So changing the structure of the ownership model and [then] signing Haaland for £150m or whatever, that doesn’t work together. We have to use our situation better than we did this year."

Moise Kean was the shoot-out hero for Paris Saint-Germain as they edged into the Coupe de France final by beating Montpellier on penalties after a Kylian Mbappe masterclass was not enough to finish the job in normal time.

Smarting after seeing their Champions League challenge ended by Manchester City and their Ligue 1 title defence severely dented by Rennes, two wonderful Mbappe goals, which sandwiched a similarly admirable Gaetan Laborde strike for Montpellier, appeared to have secured PSG's place in a sixth Coupe de France final in seven seasons.

But Andy Delort scored a late leveller to make it 2-2 in a dramatic finale to send an absorbing contest to penalties.

Five players from each team all delivered in a high-quality shoot-out, but the pressure proved too much for Junior Sambia, who blazed over the bar to give Kean the opportunity to seal a spot in the final against Monaco or fourth-tier Rumilly Vallieres as he fired into the top-left corner.

Gianluigi Buffon has called time on his second spell at Juventus, concluding a defining playing association with the Serie A giants.

There may only be three clubs on the goalkeeping great's resume but sustained excellence over more than two decades has filled his trophy cabinet with individual and team honours. 

The former Parma prodigy has rubbed shoulders with the very best in world football throughout that time, forming part of Serie A, Ligue 1 and World Cup-winning sides.

In honour of Buffon's stellar career, we have compiled a star-studded group of former team-mates for a dream XI.

 

GOALKEEPER: GIANLUIGI BUFFON

Who else has the pedigree to don the gloves in such a side?

A five-time member of the UEFA Team of the Year, he boasts more Serie A clean sheets than any other player and, as captain of his country from 2010 until his retirement in 2018, would have no trouble bringing this team together.

RIGHT-BACK: LILIAN THURAM

Having been joined by Buffon at Parma after his switch from Monaco in 1996, Thuram followed his team-mate in making the move to Turin ahead of the 2001-02 campaign.

The 142-time France international, part of the side that tasted glory at the 1998 World Cup on home soil and won Euro 2000, spent five seasons at Juve before rounding out his career with a spell at Barcelona.

CENTRE-BACK: FABIO CANNAVARO

Buffon's inheritance of the Italy armband from Cannavaro in 2010 completed the striking symmetry of their careers.

They both made their Parma debuts in 1995, did the same for Italy in 1997 and were reunited at club level when Cannavaro, one of few defenders to win the Ballon d'Or, joined Juve in 2004. They also lifted the World Cup together in 2006.

CENTRE-BACK: ALESSANDRO NESTA

A long-time rival at club level, Nesta was part of the famous Milan defence that beat Juve in the 2002-03 Champions League final – he scored his penalty against Buffon in a 3-2 shoot-out victory – and triumphed again four seasons later.

He was named in the Team of the Tournament at Euro 2000, which Buffon missed through injury, but the 2006 World Cup success will undoubtedly be the highlight of his career.

LEFT-BACK: PAOLO MALDINI

With admirable longevity, loyalty and leadership, classy defender Maldini set the path that Buffon has so impressively followed.

The long-time Rossoneri skipper, a seven-time Scudetto winner who also lifted the European Cup on five occasions, Maldini was the only player to have managed more Serie A appearances than the veteran keeper until his Juve return.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD: ANDREA PIRLO

Has there been a more iconic duo of the modern era?

Pirlo was already at the top by the time he swapped Milan for Juve, but he saved plenty of his play-making brilliance for Buffon and friends as the Bianconeri re-asserted themselves as Italy's top club with a run of successive Scudetti that stretched to nine before being ended by Inter this season as their reunion as player and head coach did not yield similar results.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD: PAVEL NEDVED

Nedved's blend of athleticism, tenacity and well-rounded technical ability made him close to the complete midfielder.

He helped Czech Republic to the final of Euro 1996 and his value to Juve was summed up by a Ballon d'Or victory in 2003.

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: ROBERTO BAGGIO

Less than two years after a 17-year-old Buffon held Baggio and Milan scoreless on his senior debut for Parma, the pair were sharing the same shirt for Italy.

Two of the Azzurri's greatest were in the same squad at the 1998 World Cup, although Buffon would ultimately go one better than the 1993 Ballon d'Or winner, who suffered final heartache against Brazil at USA 94.

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO

He stands as an equal in the pantheon of Juve luminaries.

Buffon and the majestic Del Piero combined to help the Bianconeri finish top of Serie A on five occasions, while they lined up for Italy together for over a decade and experienced World Cup glory together

FORWARD: CRISTIANO RONALDO

Ronaldo joined Juve as Buffon embarked upon his hiatus with Paris Saint-Germain. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was supposed to add Champions League glory to domestic dominance and now Juventus have neither.

Nevertheless, Ronaldo's individual form has remained imperious. In 127 appearances for the Bianconceri, he has 97 goals at a rate of a goal every 113 minutes.

FORWARD: KYLIAN MBAPPE

They were only together for a year but the France phenomenon is a performer to compare with many of the greats to have shared a dressing room with Buffon.

Fresh from 2018 World Cup success with France, Mbappe scored 39 goals in 43 appearances for PSG in 2018-19, averaging 90.25 minutes per goal and boasting a shot conversion rate of 22 per cent.

Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland together at Camp Nou?

Barcelona are among a host of clubs interested in Borussia Dortmund's Haaland.

Joan Laporta is reportedly fighting to bring Haaland to Spain.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA NOT GIVING UP ON HAALAND

Erling Haaland remains Barcelona's number one transfer target, according to Diario Sport.

Borussia Dortmund star Haaland has been linked with Barca, Real Madrid, Manchester CityChelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite their financial problems and cheaper alternatives, Barca are determined to prise Haaland to Camp Nou, though Inter's Lautaro Martinez and Tottenham star Harry Kane remain possible options.

 

ROUND-UP

- Le10Sport claims Arsenal are desperate to lure Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga to London. Camavinga is in demand amid reported interest from Madrid, United and PSG. Mundo Deportivo, meanwhile, reports Barca are eyeing the France international as a replacement for Sergio Busquets.

- Milan intend on signing Fikayo Tomori on a permanent deal from Chelsea, reports Fabrizio Romano. Tomori has impressed since arriving at San Siro on loan. It comes as Chelsea work to extend Thiago Silva's contract.

- FT says Bayern star Kingsley Coman wants to double his wages in a contract extension. The France international has previously been linked with United.

- Liverpool have shown interest in Leeds United forward Patrick Bamford, according to The Athletic.

- Calciomercato reports Serie A champions Inter and Lazio are targeting Chelsea veteran Olivier Giroud, who is set to leave Stamford Bridge amid the Blues' links with Bayern star Robert Lewandowski and City free agent Sergio Aguero.

As the 2020-21 season comes to an end, Jadon Sancho's future is dominating headlines.

Having been tipped to leave Borussia Dortmund at the start of the campaign, the England international is once again in the spotlight.

A move could be on the cards but remaining in Germany is also an option.

 

TOP STORY – BAYERN TO SWOOP FOR SANCHO?

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are considering a move for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to The Telegraph.

Sancho has long been linked with Premier League giants Manchester United, as well as Liverpool and Chelsea in the past.

But Bayern are believed to be ready to prise Sancho from Dortmund as they also reportedly wait to prise in-demand team-mate Erling Haaland to Bavaria.

Haaland, who has a release clause that is not valid until 2022, is wanted by Bayern, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, United, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

 

ROUND-UP

- After re-signing Neymar, PSG are on the right track to lure Madrid captain Sergio Ramos to the French capital, claims ParisFans. Ramos is out of contract at the end of the season and yet to renew with Madrid.

Leicester City are set to sign Lille star Boubakary Soumare for less than £26million (€30m), reports Fabrizio Romano. He has previously been linked to United.

- Romano and L'Equipe say Julian Draxler has signed a contract extension with PSG. Arsenal and Bayern had reportedly been eyeing the German.

- Telefoot continues to link PSG with Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga, who has a host of admirers, including United, Barca and Madrid.

Roma and Juventus are eyeing former Inter captain Mauro Icardi as ParisFans says the PSG striker's future could be away from Paris at the end of the season.

Mauricio Pochettino has not given up on winning Ligue 1, but conceded Paris Saint-Germain got no less than they deserved against Rennes as their title hopes took a hit following a 1-1 draw.

Neymar celebrated his new four-year deal with PSG by scoring a contentious penalty to put Pochettino's team ahead on Sunday, only for Serhou Guirassy's fine header to seal a point for Rennes.

PSG were in fact lucky not to lose, with Presnel Kimpembe seeing red late on and Keylor Navas pulling out some impressive saves to keep it at 1-1.

The draw leaves PSG three points behind Lille with two games remaining – no team has ever been crowned Ligue 1 champions with such a gap at this stage – and the title may well be wrapped up next week should the capital club drop points against Reims and the leaders beat Saint-Etienne.

Indeed, it is not just the title PSG have to worry about, with their place in the Champions League no certainty.

PSG edged possession (57.8 per cent) against Rennes, but their tally of 12 attempts was seven fewer than the hosts managed, while only four of them were on target – Bruno Genesio's European hopefuls, who were without key midfielders Steven Nzonzi and Eduardo Camavinga, managing 10 in total.

"A lot can still happen, we are disappointed, but we have to give credit to Rennes, who had a very good game," PSG head coach Pochettino in his post-match news conference.

"We have to win the next matches to hope for something. We were not better than Rennes over 90 minutes, we did not deserve to take three points.

"It's a season with a lot of ups and downs, we arrived four months ago to help the club. A club like PSG must always think in the future. Every club thinks of improving, decisions will be made at the end of the season, we always think of improving."

While Neymar toiled, he was not helped by the absence of Kylian Mbappe, who was suspended – albeit he has been struggling with an injury which kept him from featuring against Manchester City in the Champions League midweek as PSG lost in the semi-finals.

Asked if Mbappe's absence was a major factor in the poor performance, Pochettino replied: "We must not think that we did not win because of an absence."

PSG have now failed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight Ligue 1 fixtures, conceding 11 goals in total, making it their longest such run since a streak of 11 top-flight matches back in 2012.

The frustration boiled over heading towards the dying embers, with France centre-back Kimpembe lunging in on Jeremy Doku and receiving a straight red.

"We see frustration with the result, he arrives late. We are professionals, we know our responsibilities, our obligations," Pochettino said.

PSG captain Marquinhos, however, did not hold back.

"We will play what we have left to play. We have a Coupe de France to go for and the championship to continue to put pressure on Lille," he told Canal+.

"We have to go 100 per cent. It is unacceptable to leave points like that when we are Paris Saint-Germain. It can happen once, twice, but it's starting to happen a lot. We have to be sincere, it's not our best season, we weren't very strong. We have to do a lot better at the end of the season."

Paris Saint-Germain's hopes of retaining their Ligue 1 crown took a huge blow as Serhou Guirassy cancelled out Neymar's penalty to earn Rennes a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

With Lille beating Lens 3-0 on Friday, the pressure was on Mauricio Pochettino's side – knocked out of the Champions League in midweek – to respond in the title race.

But without the suspended Kylian Mbappe, PSG turned in a below-par performance, and only led thanks to Neymar's contentious first-half penalty.

Julian Draxler went close to doubling PSG's tally, yet their sluggishness finally proved costly as Guirassy headed home in the 70th minute, with Presnel Kimpembe's late red card compounding the champions' misery.

Ander Herrera sliced wide from Layvin Kurzawa's cut back, but PSG otherwise started poorly, and were almost punished when Guirassy chested in Jeremy Doku's shot, though the offside flag was rightly raised.

PSG were again fortunate just after the half-hour mark, Danilo Pereira bundling into Guirassy, who would have been through on goal, yet the officials failed to spot the foul.

Rennes' frustration with the officials was exacerbated on the stroke of half-time. Nayef Aguerd stuck out a leg to deny Kurzawa, who needed treatment and, after checking with the VAR, Ruddy Buquet harshly deemed it a foul.

Neymar's finish was far from convincing – Alfred Gomis guessing the right way, but failing to keep out the Brazil star's strike.

A fine first touch put Doku through immediately after the restart, only for the winger to direct a tame attempt straight at Keylor Navas.

Draxler is reportedly next in line for a new PSG deal, and the Germany international nearly produced a stunning goal before the hour, but after setting himself up with some wonderful touches, his on-the-turn volley flashed just wide.

Moise Kean went similarly close moments later, though PSG could only attack in flashes, and they were made to pay with 20 minutes remaining.

Benjamin Bourigeaud's corner was met by Guirassy, whose header clipped in off the upright, meaning Lille have one hand firmly on the trophy, and Kimpembe's red for a horrid lunge on Doku summed up a shambolic PSG display.

Manchester United wanted Jadon Sancho ahead of the 2020-21 season.

But, United were unable to prise Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

United, though, are reportedly still pursuing the England international.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT SANCHO

Manchester United are lining up a bid for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to the Daily Star.

United were heavily linked with Sancho at the start of the season but a move did not materialise, while the Red Devils have since been mentioned as suitors for fellow Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

But United have reportedly cooled their interest in Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich target Haaland as they make Sancho their top transfer priority.

 

ROUND-UP

- Diario AS claims Juventus have rejected a renewed effort from Barca to sign Netherlands centre-back Matthijs de Ligt.

- Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso, City defender Nathan Ake and RB Leipzig's Marcel Sabitzer are on Jose Mourinho's list of targets as he prepares to take charge of Roma, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. Corriere dello Sport also claims Lille midfielder Renato Sanches is wanted by Mourinho.

- Mundo Deportivo says Barca are continuing to chase Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravernberch. Barca have also been linked with Liverpool's soon-to-be free agent Georginio Wijnaldum, who has since emerged as a reported target for Bayern.

Chelsea are frontrunners to prise Harry Kane from Tottenham according to Football Insider. Kane has been linked with United, City, Barca, Paris Saint-Germain and Madrid, while Chelsea have also emerged as a possible destination for Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski.

Paris Saint-Germain have reinforced their ambitions with the new four-year deal signed by superstar forward Neymar, according to Mauricio Pochettino.

After months of speculation, Neymar finally committed his future to PSG on Saturday.

The world's most expensive footballer joined the club in 2017 and has helped them to three successive Ligue 1 titles, two Coupe de France triumphs and the Coupe de la Ligue twice.

However, Neymar has been unable to propel PSG to Champions League glory, while his attempts to win the Ballon d'Or – often cited as one of the major factors behind his big-money move from Barcelona – have also proved fruitless so far.

Nevertheless, tying the 29-year-old down to a new contract has been a priority for PSG, who are also hoping to secure the long-term future of Kylian Mbappe. Links to Lionel Messi are sure to continue too, unless the Argentine superstar commits himself to Barca.

"It shows the ambitions this football club have," Pochettino declared ahead of Sunday's crucial clash with Rennes in Ligue 1, which comes five days after a Champions League exit at the hands of Manchester City.

"Not just for the present but also for the future. That shows everyone how this club thinks about the future, trying to improve and win, which is the main goal, even when we are in a complicated situation as we are now."

Pochettino also conceded his main task is to blend together the supreme individual talents he has at his disposal, adding: "The PSG family is happy for extending the contract of a player like Neymar.

"Our challenge is, with all the talent our players have, to play as a team. To put their talent in service for the whole team, to use their individual talent to improve the team as a collective.

"That is our challenge for the future. It is always easier to build up the future of your team with a player like Neymar, who is committed to stay here much longer."

NEYMAR AT PSG – BY THE NUMBERS

Neymar has made 112 appearances for PSG, scoring 85 goals.

His tally of 45 assists means he has registered 130 goal involvements, though that is some way short of the 182 Mbappe has managed since arriving from Monaco.

Mbappe does, however, take more minutes per goal involvement, scoring or assisting every 71 minutes in Ligue 1, while Neymar either scores or assists every 68 minutes, which is the best rate in the competition since Opta began recording such data in the 2006-07 season.

Neymar has also been crucial in the Champions League for PSG, albeit several untimely injuries have, in previous seasons, coincided with the French champions falling out of the tournament in the knockout stages.

Of the 65 matches Neymar has scored in across all competitions, PSG have only lost three times – against Guingamp in the Coupe de la Ligue in January 2019, Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League in February 2020 and Lorient in Ligue 1 in January 2021.

Neymar has committed his future to Paris Saint-Germain by extending his contract until 2025.

The Brazil forward joined the Ligue 1 champions from Barcelona on a five-year deal at a world-record cost of €222million in August 2017.

Neymar had been linked with a return to Barca, but the 29-year-old has now firmly committed to PSG, who announced his new deal on Saturday afternoon.

L'Equipe reported that the former Santos star's new terms will see him earn €30m (£26m) per season in the French capital.

Neymar said: "I'm very happy, very happy to be extending my contract with Paris until 2025. The truth is that I'm very happy to be staying here for four more years, to be a part of the club's project, to try and win titles, to try and achieve our biggest dream which is the Champions League."

Neymar appeared eager to rejoin Barcelona in July 2019, when his future in Paris looked in serious doubt, and in recent weeks he was linked again with a switch to Camp Nou.

On signing up for the next four years, he suggested there was regret on his part at making life difficult for PSG chiefs in the past.

"I have changed a lot. I have learned a lot," Neymar said, quoted on the club's official website.

"Things have happened that should not have happened. We had fights, a few sad times, but overall, the evolution has been very positive.

"I am happy, I am proud to be part of the history of Paris Saint-Germain. I think I have improved as a person, as a human being, and as a player too. So, I am very happy to be extending my contract, to be part of the history of Paris and I hope to put many more trophies on the shelf for Paris Saint-Germain.

"Of course, my goal when I came to Paris Saint-Germain was to help get Paris Saint-Germain to the top, among the very best, and we are getting close. We are gaining more and more experience to help us negotiate these types of games, to know how to play in the Champions League. And Paris is on the right track, we are getting closer and closer to the taste of winning the Champions League. I'm sure we can do it."

Defeat to Manchester City in the semi-finals of the Champions League this season means hopes of lifting that trophy remain unfulfilled.

However, Neymar believes Mauricio Pochettino is a man who can deliver such success, describing him as "a great coach who will certainly help us even more" while also praising his Parc des Princes team-mates.

"These things make you believe in the project even more," Neymar said.

Neymar has committed his future to Paris Saint-Germain by extending his contract until 2025.

The Brazil forward joined the Ligue 1 champions from Barcelona on a five-year deal at a world-record cost of €222million in August 2017.

Neymar had been linked with a return to Barca, but the 29-year-old has now firmly committed to PSG, who announced his new deal on Saturday afternoon.

L'Equipe reported that the former Santos star's new terms will see him earn €30m (£26m) per season in the French capital.

Neymar's long-term commitment to Paris Saint-Germain has been in question at times. 

A return to Barcelona had been rumoured. 

Now the Brazil international is set to stay in the French capital.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR TO FINALISE PSG EXTENSION

Neymar is set to sign a new contract with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain this weekend, L'Equipe reports.

The four-year extension will be worth €30million (£26m) per season and run through 2026, nearly a decade after he arrived from Camp Nou for a record €220m fee. 

The signing would come days after a report that Barcelona approached PSG about Neymar, but the French club insisted he was not for sale. 

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea are casting a wide net to bolster their attack, with Bild reporting Mohamed Salah is on Thomas Tuchel's shortlist along with Erling Haaland and Romelu Lukaku

- Zinedine Zidane may return to Juventus as head coach after Real Madrid's Champions League exit, Tuttosport reports, adding that the Real Madrid boss also is considering taking some time away from the sport. 

Georginio Wijnaldum's Liverpool deal expires in June and the midfielder could be on the way to Bayern Munich, Sport1 reports. 

- Memphis Depay remains a top target for Barcelona, but the Spanish giants could turn to Donyell Malen of PSV if they cannot land the Lyon star. 

- Marca claims Eden Hazard is on the way out at Real Madrid, with Los Blancos ready to listen to offers for the forward. 

- Jan Oblak could be moving to the Premier League this summer, with ESPN saying Manchester United are among the potential destinations for the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper. 

- Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard will sign for Leicester City, Teamtalk reported. The 23-year-old also has drawn inquiries from West Ham and Liverpool

- Aston Villa will offer £15million for Burnley's Dwight McNeil, Football Insider reported. McNeil is under contract through 2024. 

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