Thomas Tuchel is adamant he never promised Alphonse Areola a starting role ahead of Gianluigi Buffon at Paris Saint-Germain.
Areola, a PSG youth product, appeared to nail down a spot in the club’s starting XI last season, making 34 Ligue 1 appearances under Unai Emery and earning himself a place in France’s World Cup-winning squad.
But Buffon, who had initially looked set to retire, joined on a free transfer from Juventus in pre-season and immediately put Areola’s position in doubt.
Tuchel said on Monday that he had offered Areola some encouragement, claiming he told the Frenchman he was in “pole position” to be the starter.
But Tuchel felt the need to clarify that he said this before Buffon signed, and the Italian’s arrival “changed everything”.
Speaking to reporters, Tuchel said: “I would like to clarify what I said: I said that I told Areola that he would be in pole position to be the first-choice goalkeeper before Buffon signed.
“In the meantime, Gigi signed and it changed everything. It’s important not to relay that I told Areola he would be number one.
“Since the arrival of Gigi, we have a different situation because Gigi is Gigi. We must intelligently manage this situation.”