Thomas Tuchel has ruled out Neymar becoming Paris Saint-Germain’s next captain and says the club must accept the superstar forward’s suspension for striking an opposition supporter.
The French Football Federation announced on Friday that Neymar must serve a three-match ban following his altercation with a Rennes fan after last month’s Coupe de France defeat.
PSG have launched an appeal against the decision, but Tuchel believes the punishment is fair and urged the Brazil international to put his leadership qualities to better use on the field.
“We must accept the suspension,” he told a news conference. “It was a mistake.
“There are many ways to show that you are a leader. Neymar is an artist, a creative player. He can be a leader with his qualities, his courage. But I am very satisfied with Thiago Silva and Marquinhos as captains. I will not change.”
Tuchel also insisted his transfer plans have not altered over the past month, despite PSG’s “bizarre” end to the campaign.
The Parisians sealed an eighth Ligue 1 title with their 3-1 win against Monaco on April 21, but that is their only victory in seven matches in all competitions.
The back-to-back French champions have collected just five points from the last 18 on offer, while also losing on penalties to Rennes in the cup final after squandering an early two-goal lead.
Tuchel admits a lot of work needs to be done to strengthen his side ahead of next season, but his thinking has not changed in terms of the type of player he is after.
“Our analysis of the transfer window does not change with regard to the bizarre three weeks that have just passed,” he said. “We need a lot of players and positions to improve the performance of our team.”
PSG will be without Silva and Thomas Meunier for Saturday’s trip to Angers, while Presnel Kimpembe and Thilo Kehrer are also doubtful due to a lack of fitness.
Kylian Mbappe will sit out the match at the Stade Raymond Kopa as he is serving a three-match ban of his own.