Football

Neymar is set to miss Champions League fixture against Manchester City

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has claimed that Neymar was keen to return to the club this summer, prior to Lionel Messi joining him at Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar is expected to miss out when Paris Saint-Germain take on Nantes this weekend, ahead of their Champions League trip to Manchester City.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side beat the Blues 2-0 earlier in the group stage but European stumbles either side of that clash see them travel to Manchester in second place, needing a victory to reclaim top spot.

Victory for City on Wednesday night will confirm first place — and an easier last-16 tie on paper — with a match to spare.

L’Equipe reports that Neymar is set to miss PSG’s league game at the weekend, after returning from international duty with Brazil with a thigh problem, with the hope that he will have recovered in time to be able to play in midweek.

Marco Verratti and Presnel Kimpembe are also racing to be fit for the game as they return from their respective injuries, while former Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos could make his first start on Saturday since his move on a free transfer in the summer window.

PSG have already opened up a ten-point lead in Ligue 1 after just 13 games and are 18 points ahead of last year’s champions Lille, so can afford to prioritise their upcoming Champions League match.

However, Pochettino has not escaped criticism in a job where it is famously difficult to impress and defeat in Manchester this week could leave them with an awkward final group game where a result will be needed to qualify for the knockout rounds.

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