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Thomas Tuchel in close touch with Neymar

Publish on 03/02/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS

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Paris Saint-Germain may be without record signing Neymar for the next ten weeks, but coach Thomas Tuchel remains in close touch with the player, who has recently undergone ankle surgery.

"When he is at Ooredoo [Training Centre] I hug him, when he's not at Ooredoo I write to him," Tuchel said at his press conference ahead of PSG's clash with Olympique Lyonnais. "So, I keep in contact, I show him that I still believe, that I still wait, I show him that I'm sad when he's not in the dressing room."

Neymar had plundered 13 goals and a further six assists in Ligue 1 Conforama this season before injuring himself and the 2-0 win over RC Strasbourg in the Coupe de France in January, and is likely to miss both legs of PSG's UEFA Champions League last 16 clash with Manchester United. Whilst goals have not been in short supply - Kylian Mbappé and Edinson Cavani have 34 between them - Tuchel insists that Neymar remains crucial to the team.

"I write to him that it's sad when we start to prepare a match without him. And we're joking and we're writing and we're keeping in touch. We want to keep in touch with everybody, but we can't lose the connection to Ney and this is how we try."

"But right now, the big focus is on his rehabilitation and the big focus is on every physio and every doctor who's with him and they deserve the biggest credit to bring him back on the pitch, hopefully very soon."