Paris St Germain coach Thomas Tuchel cannot wait for the transfer window to close so the Neymar saga can be put to bed – for the time being at least.
The Brazilian, who is yet to play this season, has been repeatedly linked with a return to Spain with either former club Barcelona or Real Madrid, but his future remains unresolved.
The European window closes on September 2 and for Tuchel, whose side travel to Metz in Ligue 1 on Friday night, that date cannot come soon enough.
Asked if he had set a deadline for a deal for Neymar, he said: “You think we made a deadline? It’s a little late for a deadline, right? Now, it’s September 2, right?”
Tuchel admitted the lack of clarity over his star player’s next move was hampering him.
“It changes everything, but what can I say?” he told a press conference, according to Le Parisien.
“Everyone knows my opinion. You know that it’s not the coach who decides everything in a situation like this, in a big club, with a big, big player. It’s a situation with a lot of parties. The first goal is to arrive on September 3 and after that we can think about the composition of this team. I do not want that, but it’s the reality in football.”
Tuchel is determined to remain calm amid the frenzy of the last few days of the window, though.
“The situation in the world of football can sometimes be crazy, so it’s not the time to lose your head,” said the German, who refused to comment on a possible move for Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele, whom he coached at Borussia Dortmund.
“We have to work with the fact anything can happen in the next four days, or the situation could stay as it is. I have to stay focused on the things I can influence: training, the team and the preparation for tomorrow’s match.”
Neymar will not feature against Metz, although he is not on PSG’s extensive injury list, which includes forwards Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe as well as Julian Draxler, Thilo Kehrer, Ander Herrera and Abdou Diallo.
“I don’t think the intensity of a pre-season is dangerous,” Tuchel said when asked about the number of injuries so early in the campaign.
“But at the end of a season where the players at big European clubs play in 20-team leagues, play two domestic cup competitions, have Champions League matches and international games with their country – that volume of games increases the risk of injuries, but there isn’t just one reason to explain it.”
PSG travel to Metz having already tasted defeat in the league, to leaders Rennes, although they bounced back to beat Toulouse last time out.
Top-flight new boys Metz have four points from their opening three games.