PSG boss Thomas Tuchel unsure if Adrien Rabiot will remain at club
PARIS -- Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has conceded that he "cannot be sure" that midfielder Adrien Rabiot's future lies with the French champions as the France international's contract continues to run down.
The 23-year-old, who scored PSG's second goal in a 3-0 Ligue 1 opening day home win over Caen, is into the final 12 months of his current deal and there has been no breakthrough in agreeing new terms yet.
Speaking with Canal+ after his Parc des Princes debut as coach, Tuchel once again stressed that Rabiot has a decision to make over his future.
"I cannot be sure that Adrien will stay," said Tuchel. "It is up to him. He knows, at least I hope that he knows, that I love working with him.
"Adrien has great potential. He must improve to become a top player, though. It is up to Adrien to say if he wants to stay with PSG."
Regarding the match, a straightforward 3-0 win with further goals scored by Neymar and Timothy Weah, Tuchel was satisfied with what he saw from his players.
"We are very happy with this victory," the former Borussia Dortmund and Mainz 05 boss said. "We deserved it. This team has a huge potential and still needs to improve.
"It is the start of the season. Certain players have only been training for seven or eight days and were playing their first match. The young players are all part of the squad.
"The players are all at different stages of the preseason and it showed at certain times during the game."
Rabiot, who scored with an easy finish from an Angel Di Maria assist, admitted that he and his teammates wanted to maintain their momentum from the 4-0 Trophee des Champions win over Monaco last weekend.
"It was important to start well," said the youth academy graduate. "We played well in the Trophee des Champions and we had to keep going here, defend our turf here and not concede anything at home. We did that with three goals."
Di Maria, who teed Rabiot up and was part of a starting front three alongside Neymar and Christopher Nkunku, praised the supporters for helping to aid an attempt to reach the level of intensity Tuchel wants from the squad.
"It was important to win this first match in front of our fans," the Argentina international said. "They were right behind us and helped us get the win. Everyone was very happy to win 3-0.
"The coach wants us to play a very high-intensity game for the whole 90 minutes, with and without the ball. That is what we are working on in training and we have to reproduce it in the match."
Tuchel was not the only Ligue 1 debutant, legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon also enjoyed his maiden outing in Le Championnat, keeping a clean sheet.
"I am very happy with this match," said the former Juventus man. "We have kept two clean sheets in our last two games and that is important for the whole team. It was important to win for the confidence. We are very happy.
"There is a magnificent atmosphere inside this stadium, I can feel that it is really special. Coming out onto the pitch for the first time and seeing the enthusiasm of the supporters was very important for me."
Captain Thiago Silva contributed towards PSG's clean sheet and admitted that he and some of his teammates are still some way away from full fitness after missing most of preseason.
"We played well, with a lot of intensity," the Brazil international said. "In the second half, we controlled things.
"A lot of players are not 100 percent, myself included. At the end of the game, I was cramping up.
"Congratulations to the whole team for this performance. We will keep getting stronger."
Antoine Bernede was a surprise selection in midfield, but he played the full 90 minutes and was delighted that Tuchel showed such faith in him.
"Everything went well, especially with the win," said the youth academy product. "It was my first match at Parc des Princes and a first win! I am very happy.
"I train every day to play, the coach had confidence in me, so it is great.
"Seeing so many players on the pitch shows that the youth academy is doing a good job. We are there to help the team and to make the most of every moment."