If Neymar has his way, his sojourn to Paris will end after two largely impressive, yet unsatisfying seasons for him.
According to a report in UOL Esporte from Brazil, in a conversation with Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo, a fellow Brazilian, Neymar told Leonardo that he desired to leave PSG this summer. If true, it’s the latest strong rumor and report that Neymar is serious about leaving Paris before accomplishing his goal of winning the FIFA Ballon d’Or.
This latest report is important because Neymar didn’t arrive on day one of preseason training for PSG on Monday. PSG claim that it was caught off guard by this and were surprised he didn’t show up. Neymar and his handlers, on the other hand, say that they told PSG previously that Neymar has some functions to attend to and won’t arrive in Paris until next week.
In addition, Neymar is coming off a serious ankle injury suffered on international duty in early June and could in theory still need time to recover.
The bookies favorites these days are for Neymar to return to Barcelona, but it just seems nearly impossible to imagine Barca signing both Neymar and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann. For Financial Fair Play reasons, Barca would have to offload many of their players just to afford the pair when considering yearly salary and transfer fee.
The Neymar transfer saga appears prime to go down to the wire as both clubs negotiate through intermediaries before an agreement is reached. But could Neymar speed things up if he doesn’t show up at all? Or will PSG treat him like Adrian Rabiot last year, and leave him benched.
For PSG, Neymar still has 3 years left on his contract and is still an absolute star in Ligue 1 and the side’s best chance of winning a Champions League title. Losing him, no matter the return, leaves a giant hole that’s difficult to replace in terms of production. However, his off the field antics may just make PSG bite it’s tongue and let him go.