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Blanc: Sirigu did not refuse to play

Laurent Blanc insists Salvatore Sirigu did not refuse to play in Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League match with Shakhtar Donetsk and it was a joint decision for him to sit out.

The Italian has been displaced as the number one goalkeeper at the Parc des Princes this season following the arrival of Kevin Trapp.

Reports emerged suggesting Sirigu, who has not featured since the 2-0 win over Bastia in October, refused to play in Wednesday’s meeting with Shakhtar, going against Blanc’s desires.

However, the coach revealed this was not the case.

“I had planned to play Sirigu [against Shakhtar] for two reasons. There is the Coupe de la Ligue match [against Saint-Etienne on December 16] and it allowed him to play before that, and it was also a long time since he had played,” Blanc said.

“For all these reasons, my idea was to play him. I had a talk with Salvatore and explained my desire, but also the consequences this could have.

“I wanted him to make a decision. The consequence of playing in the Champions League is that it ties him if he changes club in January.

“He said that he also wanted to play but did not want to risk the complications if his situation changes in January, so I decided not to play him.”

PSG entertain Lyon in Ligue 1 on Sunday and Blanc disclosed Marco Verratti and Javier Pastore could be in line for returns after lengthy injury lay-offs.

“Marco Verratti has no particular pain,” Blanc added. “If there is no problem this afternoon, he will be fit for Sunday.

“Javier Pastore resumed Friday and we will make a decision today. Both players are seeing an end to their physical trouble, which is a very good thing for us.”

Sat 12 Dec, 2015
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