PSG to sanction Edinson Cavani and Javier Pastore over late returns – source
PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain will take action against Edinson Cavani and Javier Pastore after the pair failed to return to the French capital on time following the squad’s winter break, a source close to the Ligue 1 leaders told ESPN FC.
Coach Unai Emery and his players regrouped on Wednesday after some rest over the festive period after the originally planned Tuesday meet was pushed back by a day.
According to the source, Cavani and Pastore both notified PSG of their late returns from South America on Wednesday but did not fully explain the reasons behind their absences and both will now face sanctions.
Sporting director Antero Henrique and Emery will take action once both players are back in Paris, and the source added that Cavani was at Camp des Loges on Friday but not ready to train with his teammates.
Speaking at his pre-match news conference ahead of Sunday’s Coupe de France clash away at Rennes, Emery admitted that the situation is not ideal and acknowledged that there is no clear reason behind the pair’s failure to report for the resumption of squad training — for now.
“Both are late in returning,” the Spaniard told journalists when asked about Cavani and Pastore. “I will listen to what both have to say, though. I will wait until I know [why they were late to return to Paris].
“Edinson might be here today [Friday] but that is not certain. We will see. We will listen to their explanations. The pair informed us of their delays on Wednesday.”
Asked if he was frustrated, Emery added: “It would have been better if they had been back to get started on Wednesday, that is for sure.
“We got back underway on Wednesday because we believe that the cup is important. We gave all of the players some work to do while they were away in order to be ready for Sunday [in Rennes]. They started training again with a lot of desire. We will be ready mentally and physically come Sunday.”
This is not the first time that Cavani and Pastore have been in hot water for not being where they were supposed to be for an agreed time and date.
Back in late 2014, both players — as well as then teammate Ezequiel Lavezzi — were not present at the start of PSG’s customary winter tour, which was being held in Marrakesh, Morocco, that year.
Pastore eventually arrived late because of weather issues but Cavani and Lavezzi did not show up at all and both were punished upon their return to Paris in early 2015.
Both players were excluded from training for one week, heavily fined and banned from taking part in two senior matches, and depending on the arguments put forward by the pair, similar sanctions could be dished out here.
However, PSG’s sporting hierarchy has changed since the incident, with Henrique now sporting director instead of Olivier Letang and Emery coach instead of Laurent Blanc.
The source pointed out that Cavani’s situation back in 2014-15 related to his children as he was going through a divorce at the time. That split has since been completed, but it is unclear whether this latest offence is linked with the same issue.
The source added that the motives of Pastore, who has been linked with a January move away from Parc des Princes, also remain unknown at this time.
It is unlikely that either Cavani or Pastore will feature for PSG in Rennes on Sunday.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.