Edinson Cavani scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain beat Rennes 4-1 on Sunday, a victory overshadowed by coach Thomas Tuchel’s admission that Neymar is set to miss next month’s Champions League showdown with Manchester United.
Neymar was missing against Rennes after suffering a recurrence of a metatarsal injury in a French Cup win over Strasbourg in midweek.
Without him, Cavani scored twice either side of goals from Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe as PSG stayed unbeaten in Ligue 1 this season and went 13 points clear again from second-placed Lille with two games in hand.
Neymar missed the last three months of last season after suffering a fracture in the same foot last February. Le Parisien reported on Sunday evening that he had now suffered another “hairline” fracture.
Tuchel said he could not confirm that, but accepted it would be “super difficult” for Neymar to be ready in time for the Champions League last-16, first leg at Old Trafford on February 12.
“It is still too early to talk about a return date because we need to wait and see how ’Ney’ reacts to treatment to be more precise,” he said.
Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar is expected to visit the world’s most expensive player on Monday, with the Selecao thinking ahead to the Copa America, which they will host in June and July.
Brazil coach Tite and national team coordinator Edu were in attendance at the Parc des Princes at the start of a European tour to check on the form of some of their key players, but it is unclear what they will have taken from PSG’s victory.
While Neymar was absent, his compatriots Marquinhos and Daniel Alves were played out of position in central midfield due to a lack of other options available to Tuchel. PSG are hoping to complete a deal to sign the Argentine midfielder Leandro Paredes from Zenit Saint Petersburg, and have also been linked with a move for Everton’s Idrissa Gueye before the January transfer window closes.
On the field, PSG won a game played in a rather flat atmosphere, with one end of the stadium partially closed as a punishment following incidents during a game late last year.
Cavani’s headed opener was cancelled out by Mbaye Niang just before the half-hour, and Rennes were arguably the better side in the first half.