PSG's Emery expects Ikone to be loaned out by end of the month

Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery has said he understands Nanitamo Jonathan Ikone's hunger for regular matches and thinks the youth academy graduate will be loaned out before the end of this month.

The talented 18-year-old signed professional terms with the French champions last June and despite impressing during the International Champions Cup campaign that same summer, he has found regular minutes hard to come by behind the likes of Angel Di Maria and Lucas Moura.

Speaking during his prematch news conference ahead of Saturday's trip to face Rennes in Ligue 1, Emery revealed he and Ikone had discussed the situation last weekend.

"We spoke last Sunday and he wants game time," the Spaniard told journalists in response to a question about a potential loan move to Montpellier until the end of the season. "At PSG, he needs to earn a regular starting role even though he does have lots of qualities.

Ikone started and played 62 minutes of the 2-0 win over Metz in the Coupe de la Ligue on Wednesday but that was only made possible by an injury to new signing Julian Draxler.

Emery considers the youngster's enthusiasm and desire to play more "normal" and he expects to lose him until the end of the campaign before the January transfer window slams shut.

"Julian was injured on Wednesday, so Jonathan got the chance to play," the Basque tactician added. "However, considering our squad, it is difficult for him to get much game time. It is normal he wants to be loaned out and I think he will be."

Ikone, who was also the subject of interest from Lille, could be joined at Montpellier but teammate and fellow youth academy graduate Jean-Kevin Augustin.

The France Under-21 international striker is expected to also be on the move temporarily with similar concerns to Ikone's regarding a lack of matches. However, Saturday's opponents Rennes and Nantes are also keen on loaning Augustin until the end of term.