Mbappe and Neymar hold talks with PSG boss Galtier after latest flare-up

·3-min read

Kylian Mbappe and Neymar were spoken to privately by Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier following their latest on-pitch contretemps.

The PSG forwards have begun the season in fine scoring form, but their relationship has faced intense scrutiny after appearing fractious at times.

It has again come under the microscope after Neymar's upset reaction to Mbappe ignoring the chance to feed him a pass for a likely tap-in in the 2-1 Champions League win over Juventus.

That moment early in the second half of Tuesday's game saw Mbappe charge in from the right flank after receiving a pass from Lionel Messi and blaze a shot wide, rather than square the ball for the advancing Neymar. With two goals already in the game, the France international was chasing a hat-trick.

Mbappe faced criticism earlier in the season for his actions during the 5-2 win over Montpellier, which included a public argument with Neymar.

Frenchman Mbappe missed a penalty in that game but felt he should have another chance from 12 yards when PSG were awarded a second spot-kick, only for Neymar to disagree, taking responsibility and scoring.

A seemingly sulky Mbappe then did not celebrate a goal of his own, and after the Juventus game Galtier had a familiar topic on his hands once more.

The PSG head coach said on Friday: "The relationship is very good. That is the truth. They are often together in training.

"Yes, there is a situation in a match, but having spoken to Kylian Mbappe yesterday – and I have also spoken to Ney – but from the discussion with Kylian Mbappe there were two moments: there was the first acceleration when there was possibly a chance to pass the ball but it was more difficult, and the second time was when Kylian Mbappe got into the box and did not see Ney.

"When you see the clip it looks simple, but at the time he had to make a decision. Kylian Mbappe was focused on the ball for shooting. I am convinced that Kylian Mbappe will get assists for Neymar, just as Neymar is capable of performing assists for Kylian Mbappe.

"There is nothing else negative about that since that piece of play in the game."

Neymar has seven goals and six assists from five starts and one substitute appearance in Ligue 1 this season, while Mbappe has seven goals from five starts but has yet to set up a goal for a team-mate.

Mbappe said ahead of the Juventus game that his relationship with Neymar had in the past "been colder or hotter" with moments where they have been "best friends" and others where they have been more distant.

Galtier could rest one or more of his strikeforce when PSG play Brest in Ligue 1 on Saturday, ahead of Wednesday's Champions League trip to Maccabi Haifa.

Asked whether he could considering resting all three of his star forwards – Messi, Neymar and Mbappe – Galtier's response was a punchy "No!".

But he confirmed one could miss out, saying: "That is possible."

PSG have taken 16 points from six games so far, scoring 24 Ligue 1 goals already, with only Manchester City's Erling Haaland (10) scoring more league goals than Neymar and Mbappe in Europe's top five leagues.

Brest are the only team Neymar has played against in Ligue 1 without registering either a goal or an assist; however, he has faced them just once in his career to date.

Anything other than a convincing home win for the leaders against their 17th-placed visitors would be a surprise, with PSG having won each of their last nine Ligue 1 matches against Brest. Among current Ligue 1 sides, they only have a longer winning run against Angers (12 games).