Transfer news

Neymar rejects PSG renewal offer, eyeing Barça move

Neymar Jr., celebrating the famous ‘Remontada’ against Paris-Saint Germain / PEP MORATA

The wantaway Brazilian forward, Neymar, retains his stance of wanting to return to Barcelona, and has, thus, rejected a renewal offer from his current club, Paris Saint-Germain.

When Neymar left Barcelona for Paris back in the summer of 2017, he penned a five year contract with the French side, keeping him with the club until 2022. Since then, Paris have tied down Mbappé for four years since buying him, and the two have, with Edinson Cavani, formed a deadly front-three in France.

Initially, there were issues between them when it came to taking on the responsibility at set pieces, and the situation did not look a promising one. Since then, the three have made amends, although Cavani has seen himself take on a less prominent role in the club.

With the young Frenchman becoming a clinical finisher, he has taken the lone striker position at the club, with his spot on the wing being given to a very well performing Ángel di María. This has resulted in Edinson Cavani being on his way out, with many outing the MLS being his next destination.

However, that does not solve the undeniable issue with Neymar and Mbappé being on the same team: the financial aspect. UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations could see the French side forced to sell one of their star men, with the reason being a fairly simple one.

Neymar currently has a salary of 30 million euros in net, which also is the same salary Kylian Mbappé has been offered. The main financial difference is that Paris have to pay more than the 30 million euros for Neymar, as he is a non-EU player – and given the obligation to comply with the financial rules in place, the Brazilian could be the one PSG would let go of, according to Spanish news outlet, SPORT.

This is further solidified by the club’s sporting director, Leonardo Araujo, making PSG’s next main man clear.

“Kylian Mbappé must be Paris’ main man,” Leonardo told Le Parisien, in a recent interview.

With that said, it seems clear who Paris would prefer to let leave, especially given the debacle that took place this summer, with the French side refusing to sell the player to Barcelona. Since then, the player has sought to make amends with the French club’s fans, even if only temporarily, but despite being a key figure in some of the team’s wins, he has not been able to fully regain the affection of the Paris faithful.

With that being the case, and Paris being unable to reach an agreement with the Brazilian’s agent and father, Neymar Pai, and Neymar himself, despite negotiating since the end of last season, a departure is looking more and more likely. One of the reasons for the parties not being able to reach an agreement is Neymar Pai’s demands that are deemed excessive by PSG, according to Spanish news outlet, SPORT.

As for a move to Barcelona, the Catalan side remains in the running for Neymar, with sporting director, Éric Abidal, being the latest to insinuate so.

“A top player, who has Barça’s philosophy and who is performing at a high level, will always be an option,” Abidal told Spanish news outlet, Mundo Deportivo, in an interview. He also emphasized that Barcelona had spoken to Neymar’s agent, who had told them of the Brazilian’s desire to return. The return was only halted by the financial aspect of the deal, as Barcelona would be able to comply with the sporting demands of Neymar’s entourage, Abidal confirmed.

A player that was reportedly offered to Paris during the negotiations for Neymar was Ivan Rakitic. Due to lack of playing time this season and taking on a less prominent role immediately after what he personally felt was his best season, he is reportedly looking for a way out. Although Juventus seem to be the front-runners for his signature, it should not be ruled out that he this time says yes to a move to Paris, and thus could be used as a bargaining chip for Neymar, if Barcelona try to bring him in mid-season.