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Neymar in fitness race for Le Classique


Neymar has come down with illness ahead of Paris Saint-Germain’s fixture with Marseille in Ligue 1 this weekend.

The Brazilian – a world-record signing at the start of the season – has been instrumental in PSG’s dominance in Ligue 1 this term; although he was sent off in October’s 2-2 draw at the Stade Velodrome.

A virus now has Neymar facing a race against time to be available for the reverse fixture against Marseille, having missed training alongside midfield star Marco Verratti, who is suffering from abdominal pain.

“Two players were missing, Verratti and Neymar,” Unai Emery told a pre-match news conference on Friday. “[Stanley] Nsoki, with a knock to the knee, was also missing.

“Verratti trained with the physio, as he has from the beginning of the week. He does not feel 100 per cent right.

“Neymar is sick. Lass [Diarra] was sick [on Thursday], a little fever, but he was here today. I hope it will be the same for Neymar.”

Emery insists that his side will be ready for the visit of Marseille, having drawn criticism for their performance in the away fixture.

“They are all aware of the importance of this game,” he added. “I think all players are aware it’s a different game. In Spain, I watched this game.

“Kylian [Mbappe] is very smart, he is in a process of growing up. Every game is about progress. I believe he is on the right path.”

However, Emery again expects a hard-fought match against Rudi Garcia’s men.

“[Dimitri] Payet and [Florian] Thauvin are playing well,” he said. “Marseille are playing well. They caused us trouble last time.”

Meanwhile World Soccer ruling body FIFA has dumped the Neymar’s Barcelona bonus case. The Brazil forward completed a world-record €222million move from Barca to PSG in August after the Ligue 1 giants sensationally met his release clause.

Neymar claims he is still entitled to a €30m renewal bonus after signing a contract extension at Camp Nou until 2021, although Barca maintain that terms of that agreement were breached when the 26-year-old joined PSG.

FIFA has confirmed they will step away from the dispute after legal action was taken elsewhere over the same complaint.

A statement released to Omnisport by world football’s governing body read: “After having been made aware that, apparently, the same matter had been submitted in parallel before different jurisdictions by the same party, the FIFA administration informed the parties to the dispute that based on the long-standing and well-established jurisprudence of FIFA’s deciding bodies, it did not seem to be in a position to continue with the investigation of the affair.

“The proceedings were therefore closed for formal reasons.”Neymar has impressed at PSG this season, scoring 28 goals in 29 appearances for Unai Emery’s side.







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