Lucas was made aware of PSG back-up status - Emery

Lucas Moura was among a group of Paris Saint-Germain players to be told they would likely play a peripheral role in 2017-18 by Unai Emery.

Brazil winger Lucas has been linked with a January exit from the Parc des Princes amid limited game time this season – all five of his Ligue 1 appearances have come off the bench and he is yet to make an outing in the Champions League.

The arrivals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have restricted the opportunities handed to the 25-year-old, but Emery claims the situation such squad members would find themselves in was made clear before the campaign got underway.

"During the pre-season, I spoke individually with the players to explain to them the new situation within the team," Emery told a news conference ahead of the Ligue 1 leaders' meeting with Troyes on Wednesday.

"This year, we signed or bought some players that will help the team to go a step ahead. It is now difficult for some players to deal with the competition we were looking to create within the team.

"All the players were a little aware about it before the season started. All the players who are in the group have the opportunity to play but also need to face the complexity of the competition if the others are playing well.

"Some play less because the competition this season is higher than the previous one."

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Lucas will not feature at home against Troyes and was also left out of the matchday squad for the 2-1 away victory over defending Ligue 1 champions Monaco on Sunday, a result that sent PSG nine points clear at the summit.

Javier Pastore was a late second-half introduction and the Argentina international confirmed after the match he was considering his future with Atletico Madrid reportedly interested in his signature.

Despite Pastore's comments, Emery is demanding focus from everyone in the squad as PSG look to finish the year strongly.

"There is nothing unusual about the fact we can hear rumours about some players. They are important players, great players," said the coach.

"As I said, what I am currently looking for is just to prepare well for Wednesday's game and Saturday's [against Strasbourg].

"This is a very important month before ending the year. I want all my players focused as I am for the following games. I want them to play at their best of their abilities individually and collectively."

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