Paris Saint-Gemain head coach Laurent Blanc says he cannot prioritise making striker Edinson Cavani happy at the expense of his team’s success.
Speculation has mounted this month that Cavani is seriously considering his future in the French capital due to his role in Blanc’s set-up, which sees him regularly deployed in a wide position.
The Uruguay international was left out of the starting line-up altogether for Saturday’s 1-0 win against Toulouse, though he did come on as a substitute to replace Javier Pastore and was pushed forward into a more orthodox striker role.
Blanc stressed prior to that game that he could not consider abandoning his system simply to accommodate Cavani’s wishes and rejected a suggestion that he made a tactical switch at the weekend to appease the former Napoli star.
“I’m not here to please somebody, I am here to win matches,” he told a media conference. “At half-time, I changed the system again. They are professional players, they need help of course, but it is the team that is the most important.
“The coach must protect the team. We make choices based on that and not based on each other’s enjoyment.
“We played like that in Toulouse because they played with three centre-backs. Last year against Lyon, after 20 minutes we changed the system, too. For 20 minutes, Lyon had caused us problems and we changed system.
“This has nothing to do with the meeting in Doha [where Cavani was discussed]. I could not put a defensive player in because we had not won the game. I don’t have many options to replace Javier because he has his own characteristics. That’s why I came to Edinson Cavani.”
Blanc could offer no concrete update on the future of goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, who has voiced his desire to leave the Parc des Princes this month to secure regular first-team football.
“You should ask him,” Blanc said. “I think he is training very well. He is in a situation that everyone knows. On February 2 there will be a final situation until the end of the season. In the group, he is always the same.”
Blanc confirmed that defensive duo Marquinhos and Thiago Silva will miss Tuesday’s Coupe de France clash with Toulouse, along with Pastore, who has a hamstring problem.
Marco Verratti is also a doubt but Angel Di Maria is expected to return after coming through training unscathed on Sunday.