Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel has said he still hopes to retain the services of Arsenal target Layvin Kurzawa, putting the left-back’s hopes of a January switch in doubt.
Sources told ESPN FC on Friday that Arsenal are interested in signing the France international, either this month or in the summer, and that he favours a move to North London over Serie A side Inter Milan, who remain keen.
However,Tuchel has said that he still needs Kurzawa and that no discussions have taken place regarding his departure from the club.
“We need Layvin,” Tuchel said in a news conference ahead of Sunday’s Coupe de France clash away at Lorient. “I have not spoken with him about a departure, nor anybody else.
“We have Juan [Bernat] starting on the left and Layvin behind him. Layvin has played well recently, trained well and it is up to him to show what he can do.
“If he is healthy, he will play against Lorient, he is an important player in this position.”
Tuchel faces a dilemma against Lorient with eight senior figures missing through injury, including Bernat, which has increased the Kurzawa’s importance after he put on a good showing and won a penalty on the side’s 4-1 away win at Monaco in the rearranged Ligue 1 fixture on Wednesday.
“Too many absentees,” Tuchel said. “Edinson [Cavani], Thomas [Meunier], Marco [Verratti], Marquinhos, Juan [Bernat], Thilo [Kehrer], Tanguy [Kouassi] and Adil [Aouchiche] are all out with little issues.
“I do not like it, we had 25 players in training one week ago!”
With so many players ruled out injured, star winger Neymar will be more important than ever, and Tuchel said that he is looking to the Brazil international to lead his teammates by example this weekend.
“Neymar is super important,” he added. “He works hard to close down the spaces. He is the leader that we want.
“The challenge is to keep up this spirit and work rate. It is good, but it is only the start. It is still January.”
PSG travel to Reims in the Coupe de la Ligue semifinals next week before a Ligue 1 away day against last season’s surprise package Lille.