Paris Saint-Germain will be without all of their World Cup winners when they open their Ligue 1 campaign at home against Caen on Sunday.
Kylian Mbappe, Presnel Kimpembe and Alphonse Areola have not been included in coach Thomas Tuchel’s squad ahead of his league debut as the trio only returned to training at the start of this week after time off following their success with France in Russia.
Tuchel hinted that the game would be too early for Mbappe, Kimpembe and Areola during a news conference on Saturday. He also said Marco Verratti and Layvin Kurzawa would not be selected because of injuries, and Edinson Cavani’s absence from training all week meant he would sit out the game as well.
Jese Rodriguez and Jean-Christopher Bahebeck, unwanted by the club, have been left out again and continue to train alone, and a number of youth academy graduates who featured heavily during preseason have also not made the cut.
Tuchel has named Antoine Bernede, Colin Dagba, Moussa Diaby, Stanley Nsoki and Kevin Rimane in the squad, but passed on Yacine Adli and Virgiliu Postolachi.
With Cavani out, United States international Timothy Weah is expected to feature in the attack alongside Neymar as PSG get their title defence underway at Parc des Princes.
Meanwhile, Schalke announced defender Thilo Kehrer is on the verge of joining PSG.
PSG had been pursuing Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng since the beginning of the summer and negotiations stepped up recently, but PSG appear to have opted for Kehrer instead, with Bild reporting they will pay Schalke €37 million after the player passes a medical.
“In the end, we decided to go for the transfer on financial grounds, particularly since the player’s contract is due to expire next year,” Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel said in a statement. “During this period, Thilo has been loyal to the club.
“A few weeks ago, we had actually agreed a contract extension with Thilo. If this offer from PSG were not to have come through, I’m sure he would have gone ahead with the extension — likewise, if we had turned the offer down or in the unlikely event something was to stop this deal going ahead.”
Schalke said they only agreed to the transfer on Sunday “after weeks of negotiations” with PSG.
Kehrer, 21, has represented Germany at international level from under-16 to under-21 and made his Bundesliga debut in 2015.