PARIS. – With the saga over his on-off move back to Spanish football giants Barcelona now over, Neymar could return to action with Paris Saint-Germain this weekend.
The world’s most expensive player has had to come to terms with a third season in French Ligue 1 after PSG and his former club failed to agree terms on a transfer before the transfer window shut on September 2.
Neymar has since been away on international duty for Brazil in two friendly matches in the USA, scoring one goal and making another in a 2-2 draw with Colombia and then coming on as a substitute in a 1-0 loss to Peru.
Those were his first appearances this season after the 27-year-old was left out of PSG’s opening four league games amid the uncertainty over his future.
If he is passed fit after a long trip back across the Atlantic, coach Thomas Tuchel may choose to select Neymar in today’s game against Strasbourg, the team against whom he suffered a fractured foot in a cup tie back in January.
PSG are already without Kylian Mbappe, who has a hamstring injury, as they prepare to start their Champions League campaign at home to Real Madrid next week. Edinson Cavani is also struggling for fitness.
Argentine striker Mauro Icardi is available after joining from Inter, but Tuchel may be tempted to turn to Neymar, even though the Brazilian is suspended for the game against Real and seems unlikely to receive a warm welcome from fans unhappy with his posturing for a transfer.
French League 1 Fixtures
Today: Paris Saint-Germain v Strasbourg (5:30pm), Bordeaux v Metz, Brest v Rennes, Dijon v Nimes, Montpellier v Nice (all 8pm)
Tomorrow: Nantes v Reims (3pm), Saint-Etienne v Toulouse (5pm), Monaco v Marseille (9pm). – AFP