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Sports

New PSG coach Tuchel insists on Neymar’s future with club

media Thomas Tuchel (right) was named head coach of Paris Saint-Germain by the club's president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, on 20 May 2018. Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

Thomas Tuchel of Germany was officially unveiled as the new coach of Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday and wasted no time in insisting Brazilian star Neymar was key to his vision for the club.

Tuchel, 44, replaces Spaniard Unai Emery as PSG head coach a year after being sacked by Borussia Dortmund and has already sought to show he is at ease with his new squad.

“I have a clear view of what is possible with this team,” he said. “With all the players I have here, I start working tomorrow with a big, big smile.”

The clear test to that vision will be the future of Brazilian forward Neymar, who is recovering from foot surgery.

PSG acquired Neymar in a record-breaking 222-million-euro buyout last year but owners have repeatedly denied rumours that he is dissatisfied with the club and considering an even more costly transfer to Real Madrid.

Neymar the artist

Tuchel appeared to acknowledge he needed to gain Neymar’s trust even while assuring of the Brazilian’s position with the club.

“He’s one of the best in the world and the artists are special players, they need special treatment,” Tuchel said. “If we find a way to build a structure around him, so he can show all his talent on the pitch, I think we have a key player to win our games.”

Tuchel spoke mainly in English but also showed a willingness to speak French and a grasp of the language that Emery never attained in his two years with PSG.

The German also implied that the French capital itself influenced his decision to take up the challenge of coaching France’s top team.

“This is Paris, it’s magnificent, the city of love, the city of light, a romantic city and a city for adventure,” he said. “I would love our supporters to fall in love with the team and that the brightest players play here."

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