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Monday, August 8, 2022

PSG tell Neymar they don’t want him

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The reigning princes of Qatar made Neymar Júnior the most expensive player in football history when they signed him from their club Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017 for a €222m payment to Barcelona. A Paris club representative contacted the player’s father to say they wanted to find a way out for him. It was announced by Radio Montecarlo and confirmed to that newspaper by a person close to it Nasser Al-KhelaifiPSG President.

The same sources point out that the decision took shape when the owners of PSG renewed Kylian Mbappé, making him the reference of their project and giving him a voice in shaping the new sporting regime. Mbappé called for changes in the organization and referred to the dismissal of former sporting director Leonardo de Araujo, Neymar’s famous accomplice. Regarding Neymar, the Frenchman pointed to the inconvenience of what everyone already knew: his systematic indiscipline in the training and recovery regimen. Mbappé warned the same as Mauricio Pochettino, the coach, has been emphasizing since last Christmas: “No player should be above the sign.”

For five years, Al-Khelaifi argued that the quickest way to be competitive was to create an environment in which Neymar was comfortable. That policy led to what was called a Netflix documentary about the Brazilian star “perfect chaos”. After repeated failures in attempting to conquer the Champions League, the Qatari sheikhs have changed their policy. Condemned as Al-Khelaifi himself in Le Parisian last week: “We don’t want more pomp or more bling blingthe castanets are gone”.

So far, Neymar has been the axis of all strategies. The Brazilian, who will automatically extend his contract until 2027 this season, earns around €40m net a year from all concepts, football and advertising, both for the club and companies linked to Qatar’s state investment funds. At the meeting PSG emissaries had with his father, also named Neymar and acting as representative and factotum of the footballer’s companies, they guaranteed that his son would collect up to the last penny they owed him.

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Neymar’s father, they observe at the club, is understanding as long as they pay him what is contractually agreed between June 2022 and June 2027, a sum of around 200 million euros net. PSG are looking for a buying club to take care of the transfer and contract costs but as Al-Khelaifi officials suggest that seems impossible, the most realistic option is a loan deal. Faced with this possibility, PSG informed Neymar’s father that it was willing to pay the part of the salary that the target club does not cover and that it would generate the income through its creation andl Neymar Junior Institute. The São Paulo-based company is sponsored by Qatar Airways, among others.

PSG say Luis Campos, the new sporting director, took the decision at the request of the club’s owners but is completely beyond him. Neymar has told his trusted people at PSG that he feels humiliated and that he hopes to have the opportunity to play for a big club – he dreams of returning to Barcelona – to prove his Qatar bosses wrong . At 30 years old and five months away from the World Cup in Qatar, the footballer sees the predicament as a challenge and tells his friends that he now aims to win the Ballon d’Or outside of PSG.

“Neymar doesn’t like training; He’s been playing with three or four extra pounds for years,” says a source close to the PSG board; “But in competition he was the team’s most honest attacker, the one who ran the most to offer and defend.”

That if it was available. As of last January, Neymar appeared in 130 of the 245 games PSG have played since signing in 2017. This season, the Brazilian has played 28 games and missed 22 between penalties, injuries and various licenses.

This Monday, Nice announced the termination of the contract that linked him to Christophe Gaultier. Gaultier, who worked under Campos at Lille, is the first candidate to replace Mauricio Pochettino on the PSG bench.

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Source elpais.com

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