Blanc downplays Cavani issue, admits talking to PSG players about ‘behavioral problem’

Photo credit: AFP.
Photo credit: AFP.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc admitted Tuesday that a “behavioral problem” concerning striker Edinson Cavani had been discussed during a team meeting at their recent training camp in Doha.

Uruguayan Cavani, 28, is said to be unhappy at being played out wide rather than his preferred central role with the French champions, faced with competition from Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“There was a meeting in Doha and there were six of us participating, not five. We do this regularly to discuss various things, discuss some issues … We spoke about Cavani, but he wasn’t the principal subject. Cavani isn’t a problem. But there was a situation to judge, a behavioral problem,” Blanc told a press conference.

“We discussed a specific problem concerning Cavani as in the past we have spoken about other players.”

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French sports daily L’Equipe reported Tuesday of “a new unease” among the PSG players concerning the Uruguayan, whose situation was discussed in Doha on Dec. 30 during a meeting between Blanc and four players — Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Thiago Motta and Blaise Matuidi.

Members of the squad were reportedly unhappy that the Uruguayan left on holidays two days before everyone else and seemed to be allowed to come and go as he wished.

The episode echoed back to his delayed return from South America in January 2015, which saw him suspended for two matches. The problem then also concerned Ezequiel Lavezzi, who was also penalized at the time.

Blanc refused to discuss if there would again be sanctions against Cavani, who has not featured since his return, with PSG having registered wins against Wasquehal in the French Cup and Bastia in Ligue 1.

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