Diego Simeone insists Joao Felix should not take it as a punishment if he is selected to face third-tier side Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey on Thursday.

Joao Felix, 20, joined Atletico for €126million in pre-season as the club looked to fill the void left by Antoine Griezmann's departure to Barcelona.

But the Portugal international has struggled to make an impact in LaLiga, getting two goals and one assist in 16 appearances.

He played 83 minutes of Atletico's 2-0 defeat to Eibar on Saturday but was again disappointing, hitting the target with only one of his three shots and failing to produce a single chance.

Simeone will be expected to rotate his squad for the trip to Segunda B2 promotion-chasers Cultural on Thursday, though he does not think playing in the match should be considered a negative for any of his first-team stars.

"I do not expect that [thought] - thinking that playing can be a punishment is to not value it," Simeone told reporters in his pre-match news conference.

"Everyone can be asked [to play]. It's not a punishment. Playing any game for Atletico Madrid is a dream, and whoever has to play, I hope they can get the minutes to develop in the best possible way."

Atletico have been strongly linked with Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani and media reports suggest an offer has even been submitted.

Simeone batted away questions relating to the Uruguay international, quickly changing the subject to the clash with Cultural.

"The only thing that worries me is the Copa del Rey match," he replied when told Cavani's relatives apparently want him to join Atletico.

"We live for the day-to-day and the results. The players who are not with us, they already know me, I don't usually think much about it."

Edinson Cavani's mother has accused Paris Saint-Germain of "not behaving well" and outlined her son's desire to join Atletico Madrid.

Uruguay international Cavani is PSG's record goalscorer but is expected to leave the Parc des Princes either in January or at the end of the season when his contract expires.

Atletico Madrid have been repeatedly linked with the 32-year-old and he is keen to try his luck in LaLiga.

His mother Berta Gomez told Spanish newspaper AS: "There is an open negotiation. PSG have rejected three proposals from Atletico but my son has asked to leave and we are waiting for an agreement to be reached by both clubs.

"It's complicated but he wants to play at Atletico, if not now, then in the summer. We have been wishing it for years but it does not now depend on my son but on PSG and Atletico."

PSG are believed to be reluctant to sanction Cavani's departure as they continue to chase a maiden Champions League crown - a stance Berta understands - although she remains unimpressed with how little playing time her son is currently getting.

Cavani has not played since coming on as a late substitute in PSG's 3-3 draw with Monaco on January 12 with the club citing a groin injury.

Berta added: "They are not behaving well with him, [especially] with everything he has given to PSG in the near seven years he has been there."

"If you don't use him, let him go to a club that needs your goals like Atletico Madrid."

Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham have also been linked with Cavani, who has been restricted to just nine Ligue 1 appearances this term due to injuries and the form of Mauro Icardi.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel, speaking on Tuesday ahead of the Coupe de la Ligue semi-final against Reims, understands Cavani's frustration but insists the forward is still a key part of his squad.

"For now he is on the bench and lacking game time. He is lacking rhythm and confidence," Tuchel said.

"[Confidence] is the most important thing, especially for goalscorers, but that's the way it is. In big clubs, there are players with a lot of quality but there is tough competition and it is not easy for him.

"I am aware of it and I understand it completely and I am very happy to see that he is still professional. If someone is injured, we will have a wonderful substitute.

"If he is able to find a rhythm again, we will be able to put him on the pitch and someone else on the bench. But he is lacking it, so it is really difficult to only help during one game.

"We still have this in mind but this is why it would be better for him to be part of the group, but he still has problems with his groin."

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho was unwilling to discuss links to Edinson Cavani but joked his "friends" at Paris Saint-Germain could send him Kylian Mbappe on loan.

Cavani's contract expires at the end of the season and the striker has informed PSG sporting director Leonardo of his desire to leave the Parc des Princes.

The Uruguay international is the club's all-time leading goalscorer but has struggled with injuries in 2019-20 and fallen out of favour since the arrival of Mauro Icardi.

Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United and Atletico Madrid have all been credited with an interest in Cavani, but the Spurs boss refrained from fuelling the reports at a news conference ahead of their game against Norwich City on Wednesday.

However, Mourinho playfully suggested he would be more than happy to bolster his squad with Cavani's PSG team-mate Mbappe.

"I have a very good relationship with Mr Nasser [Al-Khelaifi, PSG president] and Mr Leonardo and I want to keep that great relationship," said Mourinho.

"Good relationships are based on respect and I'm not going to speak about a player from Paris Saint-Germain.

"Unless you want a joke and if they are my friends, they could send Mbappe on loan? More than that, I have nothing else to say."

World Cup winner Mbappe has scored 21 goals in 22 appearances in all competitions for PSG this season.

Thomas Tuchel concedes Edinson Cavani has lost confidence this season, but is adamant he wants to keep the striker at Paris Saint-Germain.

Cavani, who is struggling with a groin problem, has handed in a transfer request at PSG, whose sporting director Leonardo has confirmed was the subject of a rejected bid from Atletico Madrid.

Premier League clubs Chelsea and Tottenham have also been linked with Cavani, who has been restricted to just nine Ligue 1 appearances this term due to injuries and the form of Mauro Icardi.

Tuchel understands Cavani's frustrations but insists the Uruguay forward is still a key part of his squad.

"For now he is on the bench and lacking game time. He is lacking rhythm and confidence," Tuchel said ahead of Wednesday's Coupe de la Ligue semi-final against Reims.

"[Confidence] is the most important thing, especially for goalscorers, but that's the way it is. In big clubs, there are players with a lot of quality but there is tough competition and it is not easy for him.

"I am aware of it and I understand it completely and I am very happy to see that he is still professional. If someone is injured, we will have a wonderful substitute.

"If he is able to find a rhythm again, we will be able to put him on the pitch and someone else on the bench. But he is lacking it, so it is really difficult to only help during one game.

"We still have this in mind but this is why it would be better for him to be part of the group, but he still has problems with his groin."

Though Tuchel is planning to keep Cavani, he is aware the situation could change before the transfer window shuts.

"I said many times, I love the group, the players, each of them. We don't want to lose a player but sometimes it can happen," Tuchel said.

"This is the reality. I still feel the same way, maybe nothing will happen, so I am quiet. Edinson is one of our players and I am happy with that.

"If things have to change, we will adapt. Now, he is here and part of my dressing room. If things change we will think about it later.

"We need to wait a few days until he is fit again. Then he will have to fight to find a spot on the team and during the season it is not easy. He has been injured too many times but it is not his fault, nor was it our fault.

"He's had to do too many individual sessions and this is why he is lacking confidence, he is not playing enough or scoring enough but we can't think about it too much because he is injured."

Inter are reportedly "confident" of finally sealing a deal for Christian Eriksen.

The Serie A title hopefuls are said to be preparing an improved offer as they seek to tempt Tottenham into selling the midfielder this month.

On Monday, Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio confirmed an official bid had been lodged with the London club.

 

TOP STORY – INTER BACK IN FOR ERIKSEN

The chase for wantaway midfielder Eriksen could come to an end when Inter increase their proposal to €15million (£12.8m) plus add-ons.

The Guardian suggests Tottenham will soon have another offer to contemplate after rejecting the Nerazzurri's previous approach, which involved an initial €10m (£8.5m) sum.

Eriksen, also linked with Manchester United, is due to become a free agent at the end of the season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Ashley Young has arrived, Eriksen could be close and Inter's raid on English football is not finished there. Victor Moses has been pictured in Milan and Sky Sport Italia claims the Chelsea wide man will undergo a medical on Tuesday.

- Eriksen's future is not Tottenham's only cause for concern. According to the Daily Mail, Danny Rose and manager Jose Mourinho were involved in a "heated exchange" on Sunday after the left-back took issue with his omission from the squad that draw 0-0 at Watford.

- Chelsea have made enquiries about Edinson Cavani and are ready to rival Atletico Madrid for the Paris Saint-Germain striker's signature, reports the Telegraph.

- LaLiga champions Barcelona admire Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang more than the other centre-forwards on their shortlist of potential signings, says Mundo Deportivo.

- Bayern Munich are hunting a new right-back and have identified Real Madrid defender Alvaro Odriozola as a strong candidate to fill the problem position, reports Sky Sport Germany.

Frank Lampard has lauded Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, but insists Chelsea are no closer to bringing in another striker.

Lampard has been adamant the Blues – who had their transfer ban lifted ahead of the January window – would only bring players in if the deals were right for the club.

However, after Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United, Lampard acknowledged Chelsea need reinforcements in the final third and will be looking to do business if possible this month.

Cavani wants to leave PSG after falling behind Mauro Icardi in Thomas Tuchel's pecking order, though a bid from Atletico Madrid has been rejected.

Lampard has spoken of his admiration for Cavani, but stressed he is not close to adding to his squad.

"He's a great player, I played against him and I always loved his mentality and his attitude and obviously his goalscoring record speaks for itself," Lampard said of Cavani during a press conference on Monday.

"Not absolutely aware what his situation is, so we'll see. He's an experienced player but so are many other players out there.

"We are young as a squad, we know about the transition, so bringing in experience is something I'm not shying away from because I think younger players sometimes need help and if that's the case then that may help us.

"I think long term in January is difficult. We haven't seen many. I think it's difficult so short term is certainly something we'd look at because I think there are issues which are pressing for this season to finish where we want.

"We're looking, but nothing to tell you that might happen right away."

Lampard maintained Chelsea will not rush into any deals, while adding there was no further news on the potential departures of Olivier Giroud and Victor Moses.

"I don't think it hastens it, it's just a case of us not doing any business in the previous window so it's something we've seen there's a bit of a problem [scoring goals]," he said.

"There's two things to do, work hard with the group here and then from a club point of view and my point of view, if we can improve in areas in terms of goalscoring it's something we for sure have to look at."

Frank Lampard has lauded Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, but insists Chelsea are no closer to bringing in another striker.

Lampard has been adamant the Blues – who had their transfer ban lifted ahead of the January window – would only bring players in if the deals were right for the club.

However, after Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United, Lampard acknowledged Chelsea need reinforcements in the final third and will be looking to do business if possible this month.

Cavani wants to leave PSG after falling behind Mauro Icardi in Thomas Tuchel's pecking order, though a bid from Atletico Madrid has been rejected.

Lampard has spoken of his admiration for Cavani, but stressed he is not close to adding to his squad.

"He's a great player, I played against him and I always loved his mentality and his attitude and obviously his goalscoring record speaks for itself," Lampard said of Cavani during a press conference on Monday.

"Not absolutely aware what his situation is, so we'll see. He's an experienced player but so are many other players out there.

"We are young as a squad, we know about the transition, so bringing in experience is something I'm not shying away from because I think younger players sometimes need help and if that's the case then that may help us.

"I think long term in January is difficult. We haven't seen many. I think it's difficult so short term is certainly something we'd look at because I think there are issues which are pressing for this season to finish where we want.

"We're looking, but nothing to tell you that might happen right away."

Lampard maintained Chelsea will not rush into any deals, while adding there was no further news on the potential departures of Olivier Giroud and Victor Moses.

"I don't think it hastens it, it's just a case of us not doing any business in the previous window so it's something we've seen there's a bit of a problem [scoring goals]," he said.

"There's two things to do, work hard with the group here and then from a club point of view and my point of view, if we can improve in areas in terms of goalscoring it's something we for sure have to look at."

Edinson Cavani has asked to leave Paris Saint-Germain but the club have rejected an initial approach from Atletico Madrid, sporting director Leonardo confirmed.

PSG's record goalscorer Cavani is out of contract at the end of the season and has repeatedly been linked with a January move away from the Parc des Princes.

A move to Atletico appeared close earlier in the transfer window, and the Uruguay international sat out both the midweek win against Monaco and Sunday's 1-0 Coupe de France defeat of Lorient.

However, it is reported PSG have turned down a €10million bid from the LaLiga club, although Leonardo revealed there would be further discussions.

"Edinson Cavani has asked to leave. We are studying the situation," Leonardo told reporters. "We had an offer from Atletico Madrid, but we did not accept it.

"I don't know how this is going to turn out. We are going to discuss more. We know the situation. It is not an easy one."

On the possibility of bringing in a striker if Cavani left, the PSG chief added: "It is a good question. We are thinking it over."

Thomas Tuchel had little to add on the situation, however, referring back to Leonardo.

"I do not know if Edinson Cavani will be here in February," the coach told a news conference. "We do not know what will happen tomorrow - anything can happen.

"You want to discuss it, but I do not. Ask Leonardo."

After beating Lorient, PSG will visit third-tier Pau in the last 16. The pick of the draw sees Nice host Lyon.

Having already lost key midfielders Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay to serious injuries, Manchester United now face the prospect of being without top scorer Marcus Rashford for the most important part of the season.

The England international aggravated a back injury during a second-half cameo against Wolves in the FA Cup third-round replay victory, and after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer downplayed United's worries, it was later confirmed to be much more serious than first thought.

Reports began to emerge during United's 2-0 defeat to Liverpool that Rashford had actually been playing through the pain and Solskjaer confirmed he suffered a double stress fracture against Wolves, meaning he could potentially be out for three months.

As such, Solskjaer acknowledged United might be forced into seeking "short-term" solutions in the transfer market, with Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial their only recognisable forwards.

Below, we highlight some potential options.

Paco Alcacer (Borussia Dortmund)

Spain international Alcacer has had a peculiar time at Dortmund. He managed to score 18 times in the Bundesliga last season even though he only started 11 matches, while he has five top-flight goals this term despite only six of his 11 appearances coming as a starter. While he is a completely different type of forward to Rashford, he does represent a kind of attacker United simply do not have, in that he is a poacher. Following the arrival of Erling Haaland – apparently a target of Solskjaer's before he joined BVB – Alcacer might be attainable.

Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain)

After falling out of favour at PSG, Uruguay striker Cavani has asked to leave before his contract expires at the end of the season, with Atletico Madrid and others said to be interested. A proven goalscorer and immensely experienced, Cavani would certainly provide United with a focal point they can aim for and play off – though his wages are not insignificant and he might not be entirely suited to counter-attacking football.

Mariano Diaz (Real Madrid)

Since returning to Madrid in 2018, Mariano has had a difficult time of it. Niggling injuries have impacted his availability and he has unsurprisingly struggled to make a telling contribution as a result. He is yet to feature in LaLiga this term, having fallen well down the pecking order – but that is not to say Mariano is a poor player. Quick, technically good and certainly capable of finding the net, he is perhaps rather more suited to United's style of play than Alcacer or Cavani.

Cedric Bakambu (Beijing Guoan)

In 2018, Bakambu cost Beijing Guoan €40million, the release fee in his contract with previous club Villarreal. The DR Congo striker had enjoyed a solid three-year spell at the Yellow Submarine, with his combination of athleticism, ability on the ball and finishing making him standout as a potential target for bigger clubs. He has continued to score on a regular basis in China and is starting to attract interest from Europe again, with Arsenal and Atletico Madrid apparently keeping tabs on him. United could do a lot worse than the former France youth international.

Promote from the academy

Solskjaer certainly can't be accused of neglecting the young talents coming through at the club. If he was to promote from within, rather than dip into the transfer market, D'Mani Mellor and Largie Ramazani would likely be the two frontrunners. Mellor is a 19-year-old forward who likes to drop deep and engage in sharp link-up play with his back to goal, while he is also a capable dribbler. Ramazani, 18, often operates a little more from wider positions, but the Belgium youth international has impressed for United's Under-23s this term with nine goals in 13 league appearances. Excellent on the ball and a possessor of explosive pace, Ramazani certainly seems to fit the mould Solskjaer likes his forwards to be.

Barcelona and Juventus are in talks about a possible swap deal involving Ivan Rakitic and Federico Bernardeschi.

Rakitic was linked with an exit from Camp Nou during the close season, but ended up staying at Barca.

But he could be on his way to Turin and Bernardeschi may be heading in the opposite direction.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA, JUVE IN RAKITIC-BERNARDESCHI SWAP TALKS

Barcelona and Juventus are discussing a possible swap deal involving Rakitic and Bernardeschi, according to AS.

The report says Rakitic – who has made just six LaLiga starts this season – has already agreed personal terms with the Serie A giants.

However, the clubs are yet to reach an agreement, with Rakitic six years older than Italy international Bernardeschi.

ROUND-UP

- There is still work to be done if Bruno Fernandes is to find his way to Manchester United. The Daily Mail and The Sun report United want to pay Sporting CP £34million (€39.9m) with a further £25.5m (€29.9m) in add-ons, including bonuses for the English club winning the Premier League and Champions League.

- Atletico Madrid are not giving up on trying to land Edinson Cavani in this window. The LaLiga side are still eyeing a move for the Paris Saint-Germain forward, according to Marca, although they are hoping to negotiate a lower price than the €30m the Ligue 1 club are reportedly wanting.

- The wait continues for Inter as they try to sign Christian Eriksen. CalcioMercato reports Eriksen's agent Martin Schoots is scheduled to meet Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy in London next week as the midfielder tries to get his move to the Serie A giants.

- Chelsea are favourites to sign RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner ahead of the 2020-21 season, according to The Sun, but it may take a £68m (€79.8m) deal to land the 23-year-old.

- Arsenal are set for talks with Athletico Paranaense to negotiate a deal for midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, according to Globo Esporte.

- Staying at Arsenal and France Football reports Paris Saint-Germain left-back Layvin Kurzawa has agreed to join the Premier League club for free at season's end.

- Javier Hernandez will become one of the highest paid players in MLS. Sports Illustrated reports LA Galaxy will pay Sevilla $9.4m (€8.5m) for the forward, who is set to earn $6m annually, with the potential for that to rise due to bonuses.

Manchester United will reportedly need to improve their offer to Sporting CP if they are to land Bruno Fernandes.

Fernandes, 25, is linked with a January move to Old Trafford, but it seems talks are ongoing between the clubs.

The Premier League outfit will need to raise their offer to land Fernandes, with some distance seemingly still between the sides.

 

TOP STORY – SPORTING WANT €65M FROM MAN UTD FOR FERNANDES

Sporting want £55.4million (€65m) from Manchester United for Fernandes, according to TVI 24.

The report says United are offering £42.6m (€50m) plus bonuses for the midfielder.

With Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba injured, United are desperate to strengthen in midfield this month.

 

ROUND-UP

- Christian Eriksen could be nearing a move to Inter. The Tottenham midfielder's agent Martin Schoots had dinner with Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta on Thursday, according to CalcioMercato.

- Tottenham must continue their search if they are to replace the injured Harry Kane this month. The Sun reports a possible move from Milan to Spurs for Krzysztof Piatek appears over and Tottenham are now looking at Porto forward Ze Luis or Napoli's Fernando Llorente, who left the club at the end of last season.

- Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare is deciding between Manchester United and Chelsea, according to Sky Sports, although no move is expected until after the Ligue 1 club face Paris Saint-Germain on January 26.

- Staying at Old Trafford and Manchester United will be offered Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani for free at season's end, according to the Manchester Evening News.

- West Ham's bid to sign Ross Barkley is not over yet. The Mirror reports the club will not give up on trying to land the Chelsea midfielder, who has made just seven Premier League appearances this season.

- Arda Turan remains contracted to Barcelona, but the midfielder knows where he wants to go next. The Turkey international is interested in signing with Boca Juniors, according to Sport, after terminating his loan agreement with Istanbul Basaksehir earlier this month.

West Ham have reportedly set an ambitious transfer window target by eyeing an England international.

Whether Chelsea can be tempted to let Ross Barkley leave Stamford Bridge remains to be seen.

According to reports, the Blues are reluctant to let David Moyes be reunited with his former Everton protege.

 

TOP STORY – MOYES TO MOVE FOR ENGLAND STAR BARKLEY?

New  West Ham  manager David Moyes is said to be targeting Chelsea's England midfielder Ross Barkley for a transfer-window switch across London. 

The Mirror reports the Hammers want to take Barkley on loan, but that Chelsea have given them no encouragement as yet. 

Barkley, who began his career playing for Moyes at Everton, started Chelsea's last match, the Premier League win over Burnley.

ROUND-UP

Atletico Madrid still want to bring Edinson Cavani to LaLiga, but negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain look complicated given each club's valuation of the Uruguayan striker. Marca reports Atletico have offered €10million and that PSG are seeking €30million for a player who is in the final six months of his contract.

- Dinamo Zagreb's rising star Dani Olmo could be on his way to Milan, according to Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti, which claims a €30m offer has been lodged. Spanish winger Olmo has impressed in the Champions League this year and won a first international cap. He was also linked with Barcelona earlier this month, but that interest has reportedly waned.

- Former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez  looks set to join MLS outfit LA Galaxy in the coming days. The LA Times reports talks between the Galaxy and Hernandez have taken place this week, with a view to bringing in the Mexican forward from LaLiga side Sevilla. The deal could see the Galaxy break their transfer record, which currently stands at a reported $7m for the signing of Giovani dos Santos four-and-a-half years ago.

- Gianluca Di Marzio claims Roma and Milan have opened talks over a swap deal involving Cengiz Under and Suso.

Sevilla look to have the ideal replacement for 'Chicarito' on the way, with 22-year-old Moroccan forward Youssef En-Nesyri reported to have agreed to join from Leganes. AS reports Sevilla will pay his €20m release clause, with a medical due to take place on Thursday before a possible debut against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

Inter are still waiting on possible deals for Tottenham's Christian Eriksen and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud, with sporting director Piero Ausilio quoted by Corriere dello Sport as saying there was "no news" to report as he arrived back in Italy on Wednesday evening. "There are no updates," Ausilio said. "We trust the work we are doing with our coach and our players. If there is the possibility of improving the team even more, we will do it."

Thomas Tuchel has acknowledged there could be departures in January, but is hoping Edinson Cavani will stay put, while Kylian Mbappe insists there is more to Paris Saint-Germain than a fearsome front four.

Cavani missed Wednesday's 4-1 win over Monaco due to injury, with the 32-year-old having been restricted to nine Ligue 1 appearances this season, scoring twice.

His absence was not felt as Kylian Mbappe netted twice, with Neymar also on target from the spot and substitute Pablo Sarabia getting in on the act at Stade Louis II.

With PSG's first-choice front four of Neymar, Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria in such fine form, Cavani – the club's record goalscorer – is reportedly keen on a move away from Parc des Princes this month.

However, Tuchel is adamant he wants Cavani to remain as part of his squad, though conceded the ultimate decision may rest with the player.

"If there can be departures and arrivals in the group? It's still possible in football, I can't say," Tuchel told Canal +.

"Cavani? We have to ask Edi the question. He is injured. He felt something in training and he couldn't be there.

"If I want him to stay? It's better, to achieve our goals, to have him, yes."

Cavani's impact this season may have been limited, but Mbappe has had no such issues, with the 21-year-old netting his 21st and 22nd goals of the season in all competitions on Wednesday.

Mbappe was assisted by Di Maria for his first and Neymar for his second, though he believes the rest of PSG's team – outside of their star-studded attacking line up – do not get the credit they deserve.

"We talk too much about the front four," Mbappe told Canal +. "We wanted to show that we are really a good team.

"Having matches of this intensity makes us feel good, we are happy. I think we talk a little too much about the front four, that we are a team of four but we play with eleven! "

Edinson Cavani has been left out of Paris Saint-Germain's squad for Wednesday's Ligue 1 visit to Monaco.

Cavani will miss out due to a groin complaint but his absence comes amid reports Atletico Madrid are stepping up efforts to sign the Uruguay striker.

The 32-year-old is PSG's all-time record goalscorer but has fallen behind Mauro Icardi in the pecking order at the Parc des Princes this season.

Midfielder Leandro Paredes will also miss the rescheduled match due to an ankle problem.

Cavani and Paredes both appeared as late substitutes when PSG shared a thrilling 3-3 draw with Monaco in Paris on Sunday.

Mauro Icardi would welcome an extended stay at Paris Saint-Germain.

The on-loan Inter striker plundered a hat-trick as Thomas Tuchel's side thumped Saint-Etienne 6-1 in the Coupe de la Ligue on Wednesday, taking his tally to 17 goals in 19 appearances across all competitions for PSG.

Icardi's agent and wife Wanda Nara sparked a fresh wave of speculation over the player's future by telling Eurosport "nothing is certain" in terms of whether the Ligue 1 champions will exercise an option to purchase, reported to be in the region of €70million, at the end of the campaign.

"We haven't talked about it with the club yet, but for sure I'm very well here," Icardi said after his hat-trick heroics, as quoted by Corriere dello Sport. 

"There are still four to five months before the end of the championship, then in May, when everything is over, we will talk about it.

"But if I had to stay here, I would be happy."

Icardi's resurgence in Paris has left the club's all-time leading lscorer Edinson Cavani as the odd man out in an all-star forward line, with the formidable trio of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Angel Di Maria lining up alongside the central striker.

As such, Cavani is a reported target of Manchester United, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid this month.

"To play in the place of Cavani, after many years of having done the best in PSG's history, it is a responsibility," Icardi added when asked about the Uruguay international.

"I knew this. When I play, I give the best of myself, just as when he does. The most important thing is the team."

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