PSG's Neymar hopefully back training in 2-3 weeks; no talks yet over coaching future – Unai Emery
PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery is hoping Neymar can return to training before the end of April and admitted that he has not spoken with the club over his future past the end of this season.
Neymar broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot on Feb. 25 and underwent surgery shortly thereafter, with much of his recovery taking place in his native Brazil.
Speaking ahead of Friday’s Ligue 1 clash away at Saint-Etienne, Emery said Neymar is expected back in Paris in the coming weeks to have the injury re-evaluated.
“I spoke with Neymar and he told me that he is continuing to work,” Emery said at a pregame news conference at Camp des Loges. “He will be back with us in two or three weeks — hopefully to resume training.”
Speculation surrounding Emery’s future has persisted since being knocked out of the Champions League round of 16 for a second consecutive year.
Various sources have told ESPN FC that Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino and Massimiliano Allegri have been looked at particularly closely by the PSG hierarchy.
With his contract running out at the end of this campaign, Emery denied that talks over his future have already taken place.
“Since I started out as a coach, requirements have not differed too much — you must win,” Emery said. “You are always looking for good performances. I am happy here. I believe that things are positive here. The team has made progress. Each training session and each game motivates me. I still want to develop further.
“I have not spoken with the club about next season or my future. Now is not the time. We have continued our work since the Champions League exit. Perhaps we will discuss it in greater depth next week or the week after.
“I have a good relationship with the president [chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi] and Antero [Henrique, the sporting director]. We will see what is best for PSG and also for me.”
Since Neymar’s injury, Kylian Mbappe has found his form and was involved in all three PSG goals against former side Monaco in the Coupe de la Ligue final at Matmut Atlantique in Bordeaux on Saturday.
Regarding the France international, Emery understood his consistency issues this term but said the 19-year-old is on the right track.
“Kylian is here to grow, to develop, to progress,” Emery said. “He needs to continue along this path. Each season is long and there are ups and downs. You have to show yourself match after match.”
After the game against Saint-Etienne on Friday, PSG will face Monaco again when they visit Parc des Princes in Ligue 1 on April 15.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.
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