Sid Lowe explains Real Madrid’s recent transfer strategy and assesses the chances of Edinson Cavani being the club’s first galactico in four years.
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PSG’s youngsters grab a win over Atletico Madrid in the ICC with a goal in the 92nd minute.
PSG’s Thomas Tuchel vents his frustration regarding the effect the World Cup has had on his squad and proposes a later start for domestic leagues.

SINGAPORE — Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel is confident that star striker Edinson Cavani will stay with the French champions despite recent links with Real Madrid.

The German tactician watched his young team beat Atletico Madrid 3-2 at National Stadium in the final match of the International Champions Cup (ICC) in Singapore and was asked about the Uruguay international’s future in the postmatch news conference.

“I think Edinson will stay with us,” said Tuchel. “Nobody has told me anything, so I think that he will stay.

“Edinson and I spoke before he left for the World Cup and he showed no interest in leaving.”

Regarding the match, the former Borussia Dortmund and Mainz 05 boss admitted that it was not easy but was happy to see PSG’s youth academy products come good.

“It was a complicated match, but we played well in the second half,” he said. “There were 16-year-old players out there and they helped each other a lot — I am happy with the whole team’s performance.”

Marco Verratti made his long-awaited return from injury during the first half and he enjoyed the outing — albeit brief.

“Personally, it is my first match for several months,” said the Italy international. “It is impossible to be in good shape. It was nice to play again, and we will try to find our rhythm in the next few games.

“I feel good and I am no longer in pain, so that is the most important thing.”


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Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, who played the full 90 minutes and was captain during the second half, praised the team’s youngsters for their display.

“Even if the result was not the most important thing at the end of the day, this win did us good,” the German keeper said. “We have been working hard but the last results were not good, so a moment like this, winning through a last-minute goal, feels good.

“The result shows our mentality and the youngsters gave everything — they put in a top performance.”

Virgiliu Postolachi scored a dramatic late winner after Christopher Nkunku and Moussa Diaby’s goals had been cancelled out by two late Atletico goals and the former was delighted with his impact as a second-half replacement for the injured Alec Georgen.

“Being part of this tour was already a source of great pride for me,” he said. “So, to score in the final match… I was looking forward to this goal and it finally arrived.

“I am proud of the team. We were mentally strong, and we never gave up.”

Yacine Adli, who came close to signing his first professional contract with Arsenal instead of PSG, was another second half introduction and was happy to help his teammates to erase the memory of their ICC defeats to the Gunners and Bayern Munich.

“I got here a bit later than everybody else, but Moussa and I saw a relaxed squad,” said the France youth international. “Despite some negative results, which were anecdotal anyway, everybody was very focused and applied in training.

“We deserved this win and wanted to get over the 5-1 loss to Arsenal. It was great for the team and we have progressed mentally.”

Antoine Bernede, who put through his own net to hand Atletico a short-lived equaliser, is enjoying his time with Tuchel and hopes to develop with PSG.

“I like the coach’s methods very much and I am doing my best to adapt,” he said. “I like his way of seeing football and I enjoy each training session and match.

“I am young, and I have a lot to learn, both from the other players and the coach. This is a big club with great ambitions and I hope to be part of the project for as long as possible.”


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