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Why Neymar can’t leave PSG now

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Since his outrageous $262 million switch from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar has netted 19 goals with 13 assists in 20 games but his future in France remains a doubt following a serious injury he suffered earlier this year and Real Madrid’s growing interest to relaunch him in the Spanish league.

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Image: Neymar

Unai Emery, coach of the Ligue 1 side, told Cadena Ser radio on Friday that under no circumstance will PSG sell the famous footballer who is key to their rebuilding project.

His words, “I think he [Neymar] is going to stay at PSG because it’s a solid project.

“Their was an agreement between Neymar and PSG…The club opted for him and he chose them, so they will give continuity to this project.

“I’m not sure how long Neymar will stay at Parc des Princes because nothing is permanent in football these days but I know he will be in France next season…I think that’s the fairest thing for PSG and for Neymar.”

Neymar underwent surgery on a fractured metatarsal in March and is currently focused on featuring for Brazil and the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Earlier reports confirmed the former Santos FC player will not play for PSG until the global football tournament ends in July, and Ronaldo de Lima, the retired Brazil football icon, recently sparked exit rumors when he raised concerns that Neymar isn’t happy at the Parisian club.

Neymar squashed rumors in the media that he was set to leave PSG, referring to the speculations about his future as “annoying.”

The Brazilian football star, however, trained with his team-mates at the Parc des Princes on Thursday, spreading positive news on his current fitness level and highlighting the possibility that he will proudly join team Brazil in Russia. He ditched his crutches few weeks ago.

“Everything about Neymar has been exaggerated in the media this season,” Emery said, describing the Ballon d’Or nominee as someone who hardly responds to speculations.

“He [Neymar] said in the past that he is tired of the lies that were being told. He said that against last Sunday and there’s no need for me assume responsibilities as his spokesman, but I think it’s best to listen to him.”

Football pundits believe there’s a hidden motive to Neymar’s arrival at Parc des Princes and his decision to train with PSG.

Unai Emery was behind the world record transfer fee (€222m) paid to Barca last summer, and the coach is supervising his last match on Saturday against Caen, a probable reason his most-prized asset and Ligue 1 Player of the Year had to show up.

PSG took to social media for a post showing Neymar in training with his colleagues although it is highly unlikely that the 26-year-old will feature against Caen. His aspiration is to regain full fitness for Brazil’s pre-tournament friendly against Croatia at Anfield on 3 June.

The Qatari-owned club has made it clear that Neymar must choose between playing next season or staying in Paris and not playing football at all.

A source told Arab News that Neymar and his father have been courted by Florentino Perez to join Madrid, and the footballer is reportedly desperate for the move.

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Image: Neymar

“Qatar will not gamble with its high-profile and expensive acquisition for the project it designed to secure the club’s first Champions League,” PSG sources said.

Since the former Barca player arrived Parc des Princes, Emery and the club management spent much of the season trying to placate the Brazil international. For example, club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and sporting director Antero Henrique flew to South America in March to meet Neymar and his father for discussions on how the club could keep the pair happy, and talks between the two camps included asking for Neymar’s opinion on who should replace Unai Emery as PSG coach, said a source close to the player.

Neymar has reportedly complained about coach Emery’s football tactics, human resource management and refusal to allow him to skip certain matches. On more than one occasion, the Brazilian striker unilaterally declared himself unfit to play. The 26-year-old has also been involved in a supremacy battle with Edison Cavani, who was the club’s penalty and free-kick taker.

Against the odds, Al-Khelaifi insists Neymar will be “2,000 per cent” fit to play for PSG next season.

Lionel Messi told TyC Sports it would be “terrible” if the former Barca man switched to Madrid.

Emery admitted on Friday that it had been a pleasure to coach Neymar. His words, “I’ve really enjoyed myself having a footballer of his caliber…He is an extraordinary player but also a great person with a big heart.

“I remember the first training session and even though there is a very high level at PSG, we were all amazed. I’ve been delighted with him.”

Barcelona director Javier Bordas recently said Neymar has been unhappy since leaving Camp Nou.

“Neymar can sign for anyone,” the Barca director said in collaboration to comments from Brazil great, Ronaldo de Lima. “For me, personally, I’m not dreaming of Neymar signing for Real Madrid…It seems as if he’s not happy in Paris, we figured as much. 

“In Barcelona he was doing well and Neymar regrets having left [for PSG].”

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