Di Maria to miss PSG’s Champions League first-leg tie with Barcelona through injury

The Argentine winger limped off in the early stages of the 2-0 victory over Marseille at the weekend, and is now set for a spell on the sidelines

Angel Di Maria will miss Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League round-of-16 first-leg tie with Barcelona later this month through injury.

Di Maria was forced to come off during PSG’s 2-0 win over Marseille on Sunday after just 11 minutes with a muscle issue, moments after providing the assist for Kylian Mbappe’s opening goal.

Mauricio Pochettino has now confirmed that the injury is serious enough to keep the 32-year-old out of the club’s crucial European showdown against Barca on February 16.

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What was said?

When asked if Di Maria will be unavailable for the trip to Camp Nou, the PSG head coach told a press conference on Tuesday: “Yes, it’s over for Angel Di Maria [to play against Barcelona].

“We will communicate again in a week to see where we are.”

Pochettino went onto insist that the winger’s absence won’t change how he sets his team up against the Blaugrana, adding: “The fact of not having Di Maria in Barcelona does not force us to leave our main idea [of how to play]. We will find the best solutions.”

More PSG team news

Pochettino was speaking ahead of PSG’s trip to Caen in the Coupe de France on Wednesday, which is a fixture that will come too soon for Marco Verratti and Keylor Navas.

Verratti is still out of action with a rib issue, while first-choice goalkeeper Navas is not due to return to full training until Thursday after recovering from an adductor injury.

Pochetttino also revealed that Mauro Icardi is a doubt after picking up a knock to his thigh, but Abdou Diallo is back in the fold after a Covid-19 enforced spell on the sidelines.

What other games could Di Maria miss?

PSG will be without the Argentine when they face Caen in midweek, and he will also be forced to sit out a Ligue 1 meeting with Nice on Saturday, which the French champions must win to stay within touch of current leaders Lyon.

Pochettino’s side are due to face Monaco five days after their encounter with Barca, but it remains to be seen whether or not Di Maria will be fit to return for that fixture given the fact no specific timeframe for his recovery has been given as of yet.

The bigger picture

Di Maria has been a talismanic figure for PSG once again this season, contributing five goals and 12 assists to their cause across 25 appearances in all competitions.

However, the mercurial winger’s current contract is due to expire at the end of June, and his chances of earning an extension could be damaged due to his latest injury setback.

Di Maria addressed speculation over his future at Parc des Princes back in September, telling Canal Plus: “I want to end my European career here, but it’s not only up to me.”

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