Will Serge Aurier ever play for Paris Saint-Germain again? The right-back is in serious trouble with his manager, Laurent Blanc, who was seething in his press conference on Monday afternoon.
Aurier insulted Blanc and several of his PSG teammates in a bizarre Periscope session at the weekend.
The French coach feels betrayed that a player he signed has “repaid” him in this way and promised that the Ivory Coast international will “suffer consequences”.
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“Two years ago I fought to bring him to PSG,” Blanc told reporters, according to French football writer Matt Spiro, ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League last-16 clash against Chelsea. “To be repaid in this way is pathetic. He'll suffer consequences.”
PSG have suspended Aurier for this week’s crucial match against the Blues at the Parc des Princes while they decide what course of action to take next.
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Nasser Al-Khelaifi explains Aurier decision
PSG president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, was quoted by the Guardian as saying: “I have taken the decision to suspend Serge Aurier. Paris St Germain is a very strong institution and nobody can affect that. I will not allow anyone to cause difficulty for the club or distract us from our aims, beginning with our meeting with Chelsea.”
Aurier has apologised for the incident, admitting he made a “big mistake” on PSG TV, but whether Blanc and his teammates are prepared to forgive the defender is unclear.
“I made a big mistake, I am here to say sorry to the coach, the club and my team-mates, and to the supporters because they are the most important people,” the 23-year-old commented.
“I want to apologise especially to the coach, I can only thank him for all he has done for me since I arrived in Paris. He wanted me and since I came here everything has gone really well. I owe him a lot and that is why I apologise sincerely to him for what was said, which I deeply regret.
“I will accept any sanction the club impose on me regarding this incident. I made a mistake, it was unforgivable and I am ready to face all the consequences.”
Aurier's suspension is a blow for PSG
Aurier has been one of PSG’s best-performing players this season - only Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Angel di Maria have recorded a higher average WhoScored rating - and his foolish outburst couldn’t have come at a worse time for the French champions.
Blanc confirmed that Aurier will be replaced by either Gregory Van der Wiel or Marquinhos against Chelsea.
Although Aurier’s reputation has been tarnished by this incident, almost every top European club will be vying for his signature if PSG decide to cash in.
The former Toulouse star has the potential to become the best right-back in the world - some might argue that he’s already cemented his status as the best right-sided full-back in the game - and an off-field misdemeanour is unlikely to deter potential suitors.
Should PSG forgive Serge Aurier - or get rid of him? Have your say by leaving a comment below.