Lavezzi and Cavani punished by PSG for late return
PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain attacking duo Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani have been handed an undisclosed fine by the French champions and will train on their own for one week after returning late to their club following the mid-season break.
Lavezzi and Cavani both returned to the French capital on Friday morning after missing a training camp in Morocco, fuelling speculation they could be leaving the club during the January transfer window.
PSG coach Laurent Blanc said on Sunday that the South American pair will be training on their own next week and won’t be selected for the team’s next two matches at Montpellier in the French Cup on Monday and Bastia in the league next weekend.
Blanc said their decision to return late in order to spend more time with their families was “unacceptable” and hindered his team’s ambitions for the second half of the season.
“It came at the wrong time because we need to set out again on a positive dynamic to address all the challenges that await us,” Blanc said. “In a club, when you put your personal interests first, it endangers the group.”
Lavezzi and Cavani met with Blanc and PSG’s vice sporting director Olivier Letang upon their return but their explanations failed to convince the club.
“We’ll assess the situation at the end of the week and then decide if they can get back in the group,” said Blanc.
Although Blanc did not give any indication of a possible departure of either player, several big European clubs including Arsenal and Liverpool have been linked with a move for the forwards.
Cavani, who joined PSG for 64 million euros ($77 million) has proved mainly ineffective this season, scoring seven goals in 18 matches while Lavezzi found the net only twice as their team failed to produce sparkling football. With his richly assembled team sitting in third place in the league behind Marseille and Lyon, Blanc has vowed to adopt a tougher approach during the second half of the season and to end a culture of “privileges” within the club.