Neymar could make his first appearance of the season for Paris Saint-Germain against Toulouse on Sunday, manager Thomas Tuchel has revealed.
The Brazil international has made it clear that he is keen to leave Parc des Princes this summer, with former club Barcelona and Real Madrid both interested in bringing him back to Spain.
Despite negotiations with both clubs, no deal has yet been agreed, leaving Neymar in limbo with just over a week left until the European transfer window shuts on September 2.
Due to the ongoing doubts regarding his future, the 27-year-old has missed both of PSG’s opening two Ligue 1 matches as they look to be named French champions for the third successive season.
But Tuchel has now conceded that if in the next 24 hours it can be decided that Neymar will remain with the club then he will be in contention for Sunday’s clash.
“Neymar can play if the situation between him and the club is clear tomorrow,” he told a press conference. “He is ready to play, but today the situation is not clear, maybe it will be tomorrow.”
Despite an opening day win over newly-promoted Nimes, PSG’s unbeaten start to the season lasted just one game as they fell to a shock defeat at Rennes last time out.
The Parisiens took the lead through Edinson Cavani, but a virtuoso performance from 16-year-old midfielder Eduardo Camavinga helped inspire the hosts to a comeback victory.
And though former Borussia Dortmund coach Tuchel believes that the absence of Neymar and the media circus that follows the ex-Santos man around has been a key factor in preparing his team for their first few matches of the campaign, he insists his players should be used to it by now.
“The Neymar situation is unsettling,” Tuchel added. “It helps nobody.
“Everyone is used to this sort of situation surrounding Neymar. The same thing happened when he was injured. It is normal with the biggest stars.”
Neymar missed this summer’s Copa America with an ankle injury, and though his recovery from that problem was blamed for his absence in pre-season, he is now fully fit should Tuchel be ready to bring him back into the fold ahead of the international break in just over a week’s time.