Barcelona and PSG’s history of bad blood over transfers is hampering sensational return for Neymar… with Brazil star now AWOL from pre-season
- Bad blood between PSG and Barcelona is what’s driving cold war over Neymar
- Things aren’t likely to get any more civilized as the clock runs down this summer
- On Sport’s front page, they ran the headline: ‘Guerra Total’, meaning ‘Total war’
- Marca and Mundo Deportivo opted for similar themes in their publications
- Brazil star Neymar failed to report back to PSG pre-season training on Monday
Bad blood between Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona is what’s driving the current cold war over Neymar and things are not likely to get any more civilised as the clock runs down on the summer transfer window.
‘We have not received any offer, but it’s true we have had superficial contact [with them],’ PSG’s sporting director Leonardo told Le Parisien in an interview on Tuesday. That was a reference to the way current negotiations over the future of Neymar are in the hands of intermediaries. The two clubs do not talk to each other and do not do business with each other.
And on Tuesday, Spain’s biggest publications continue to fuel a possible transfer. Sport ran the headline: ‘Guerra Total’, which translates as ‘Total war’ between Neymar and PSG after he failed to report back to pre-season training. Meanwhile, Marca and Mundo Deportivo also opted for similar themes, highlighting the animosity between the Ligue 1 giants and the Brazil star.
Bad blood between PSG and Barcelona is hampering a sensational return for Neymar
Neymar failed to report back to the first day of PSG pre-season training on Monday
Spanish publication Sport ran ‘Guerra Total’ as their headline, which reads as ‘Total war’
NEYMAR’S PSG STATS
*Last season – all competitions*
Minutes played: 2,351
Barcelona and PSG have both wanted players from the other side in recent years but only in the case of Neymar, when negotiations could be bypassed by the French club depositing the player’s release clause, has their been any transfers between the two.
Barcelona were once sponsored by Qatar Foundation but the end of that relationship was not entirely amicable with some reported bad feeling over the way the club never defended its sponsor over accusations that it was not a worthy name to put on the famous shirt.
And any bad feeling with the club itself intensified when PSG wrecked Barcelona’s summer in 2017 by taking Neymar from them.
PSG now suspect that Barcelona are stirring the situation with Neymar without any real intention of buying the player just so as to ruin PSG’s summer as theirs was ruined two years ago.
Leonardo told Le Parisien: ‘They [Barcelona] have said that they want to buy but that we are not a selling club. It was their president that said that. But we have not seen that Barcelona are in a position to really buy [the player].’
Marca opted for the headline: ‘Desafia al Jeque’, which translates as ‘Challenge the Sheikh’
Mundo Deportivo’s front page read ‘Guerra: PSG-Ney’, claiming there is a war between the club and the Brazil star
The implication is one of ‘put-up or shut-up’. It’s difficult to know where Leonardo has read or heard that Barcelona want to buy the player because it’s not something that president Josep Bartomeu has said on the record.
But this is just tit-for-tat. On Friday Bartomeu said: ‘We know Neymar wants to leave but we also know PSG don’t want to sell him.’ When he was pressed on how he knew this to be the case he said that he had read it in the press.
Barcelona seem to be enjoying the current situation at PSG. With Neymar’s no-show on Monday possibly leading to disciplinary action, the Brazilian’s future at the club looks increasingly untenable.
What remains to be seen is if PSG become so tired of him that they end up making another club an offer to take him off their hands that is too good to be refused.
Earlier this week there were claims that the player has been offered to Real Madrid – the clear implication being that the French club want shot of their superstar but don’t want Barcelona to have him.
Neymar has struggled both on and off the pitch since his £198million move to PSG in 2017
On Friday, Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu claimed ‘PSG don’t want to sell’ Neymar
Real Madrid are no longer interested in Neymar. President Florentino Perez has his sights set on trying to sign Kylian Mbappe next summer. Barcelona still look the most likely takers but they do not have the money to pay the €200m (£180m) minimum that PSG are likely to ask.
Philippe Coutinho remains the most likely makeweight to bring the price down and Ousmane Dembele is another who could be sold to finance the move or join PSG with Coutinho in exchange for Neymar.
He was back in training one week early on Monday although there are conflicting reports over whether that was of his own volition or because he missed the end of last season and the club insisted on it.
Despite Barcelona appearing to be teasing PSG it is understood that if the French club were to accept Dembele and Coutinho in exchange, they would take Neymar back.
As Leonardo told Le Parisien: ‘All this can’t be sorted out in one day, that’s for sure.’
This will run until the end of the market and it is not likely to get any prettier between the two sides.
Philippe Coutinho is the most likely makeweight to bring the price down for Neymar