PSG opens door for Neymar’s departure for suitable fee
Brazil forward attends the 2019 Copa America semi-finals soccer match between Brazil and Argentina at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 2, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/Fernando Bizerra
Paris, Jul 9 (efe-epa).- Paris Saint Germain on Tuesday has signaled that its Brazil forward Neymar Jr. would be free to leave the club if the rest of his contract was bought out just a day after the 27-year-old failed to turn up to pre-season training.
Neymar has been reportedly linked with a move away from the French powerhouse; with several media reports suggesting he wants to return to Barcelona.
PSG sporting director Leonardo, meanwhile, said in an interview with Le Parisien: “It is obvious for everyone that he wants to leave. But in soccer, one day you say something and on the following day another… It is incredible, but that's how it is.”
Leonardo revealed he had talked with Neymar and the people close to him, adding that things are clear for all parties.
“The only concrete thing now is that he still has three year on his contract with us. And given we have not received an offer, there is nothing to discuss,” he added.
The Catalan club’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu has recently said the Ligue1 reigning champion did not want to sell the forward.
“He says so,” Leonardo replied. “But we have not seen that Barcelona is in the buyer position."
Despite the “very superficial contacts” between the two parties, Leonardo said PSG has yet to receive an offer by the La Liga reigning champion.
Asked about the terms he would accept to transfer Neymar, Leonardo said that it will have to be negotiated, adding that time is an important factor in the process.
“A dossier of this caliber is not an issue of feelings. It is a financial issue,” he said.
To join PSG in 2017, Neymar paid Barcelona the 222-million euro buyout clause ($248.92 million at the current rate), to become the most costly player in the history.
“Neymar can leave PSG if there is an offer that suits everyone. But as for now, we do not know if somebody wants to buy him nor at what price. All of this won’t be resolved in one day, evidently,” he added.
He stressed that PSG wants to rely on players “who want to stay and build something big,” adding “We do not need players who make the club a favor by staying”.
He referred to the fact that he did not show up in time yesterday for the pre-season, which prompted PSG to reflect on imposing sanctions on the player.
“He had to come and he did not. He knew he should be there. We are going to mull over measures as what would happen with all the employees,” he continued. EFE-EPA