The PSG coach has backed the midfielder to stay at the Parc des Princes despite competition for places in that department and the arrival of Grzegorz Krychowiak
Unai Emery says he wants Blaise Matuidi to stay at Paris Saint-Germain, despite speculation he could leave the club this summer.
Some reports have suggested that Emery is not a fan of the 29-year-old, and the midfielder even travelled to England to discuss his future during France’s Euro 2016 campaign.
However, the Spanish coach claims he is looking forward to working with Matuidi and insists he has a part to play at PSG next season, irrespective of the summer signing of Grzegorz Krychowiak.
“Matuidi is a fantastic footballer and he belongs to PSG,” Emery told reporters in a conference call as part of his side’s participation in the International Champions Cup. “He joins up later because he played the last game, the final of Euro 2016, with the French national team. We’re waiting for him. I’m waiting for him to come back.
“He is a great footballer and logically I don’t want to dispense with great footballers.
“A situation that is spoken about is that there are a lot of midfielders and that there could be a situation in a given moment that the player could leave, but of course, I as coach am behind him and as the coach, I’m waiting for his return to the team. The circumstances could change that, but in principle, it’s not what I want.”
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Emery moved to the Ligue 1 champions from Sevilla in the summer and is now working with former Netherlands, Barcelona and Ajax striker Patrick Kluivert, a surprise appointment as director of football at the Parc des Princes.
“The relationship with Patrick Kluivert, ever since he signed, has been fluid,” the Spanish coach said.
“He is here with us in this training camp in Los Angeles and he is permanently in contact because he is at the training sessions and the lunches with all of the team and we speak about how to cover the needs of the team.
“And a man like Patrick Kluivert, with great experience as a footballer, as a coach and as a football man, the truth is that the conversations we have about football, about players and about how we want to see the team, are very positive.”
Emery leads PSG into three prestigious friendlies over the coming days, starting against Inter on Sunday before meetings with Real Madrid and then Leicester in the International Champions Cup.
“We are going to be up against teams of the highest calibre and who will provide a real challenge and will give us an idea of where we are,” he said. “I think they are special games for the fans. They are preparatory matches which have an element of excitement and motivation for the two teams involved, and for the fans to be able to see how their team is looking in this competition.”
And on Leicester’s achievement of winning the Premier League, he added: “What Leicester did gives them a place among the top teams, it gives them a place in this competition. And it’s through their own merit: to win the Premier League with the consistency they had against such strong teams says much for the great job they did.”
The 44-year-old coach also outlined his ideas for PSG next season, with a strong emphasis on intensity and organisation.
“I believe that what the team needs to have is pressing,” he said. “I want a team with good order, that’s well organised to be able to carry out good pressing, but pressing with an objective in mind, with the objective that on the pitch there’s a control from that pressing and that the movement of the ball is for PSG.
“That’s the objective: to be able to press effectively, have the ball and have that protagonism towards the opposition goal.”