New York - France Davis Cup captain Yannick Noah dubbed Benoit Paire the "Samir Nasri" of French tennis after the he was booted off the team at the Rio Olympics, all the while leaving the door ajar for the disgruntled player.
Paire, a late addition to the French team to Rio in place of the injured Richard Gasquet, was kicked off the squad for "flouting the rules".
Paire was banished just moments after he had been knocked out of the Olympics by Italy's Fabio Fognini, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) in a second round tie where he had held two match points.
"I wasn't there in Rio, I'm captain of the Davis Cup team," Noah said on the margins of announcing his team for the Davis Cup semi-final against Croatia on September 16-18.
"What I hear is that he's someone who would be harmful for the France team and who's never been in the French team.
"He's like (Samir) Nasri, who didn't want to to go in the France (football) team, but you're not picked, mate."
Nasri is the precociously talented midfielder now on loan with Sevilla whose difficult relationship with the France set-up has seen him fail to fulfil his potential at international level.
Noah, adding that he thought it a shame "we've talked about this all summer", said: "Benoit's never been in the France team. I want him to understand it's a fantastic adventure.
"We share lots of really great things (in the France team). He's welcome, I'm not involved in the polemic. To wear the shirt is a real positive, it's hip, a great emotion, a pride, I could speak about it for hours. Maybe he'll change his mind."