Speculation has been rife that Real Madrid want to sign Neymar Jr, 26, the former Barcelona winger.
It wouldn’t be quite as much of a betrayal as Luis Figo leaving the Camp Nou for the Spanish capital but there’s no doubt the Blaugrana and their supporters would never forgive the Brazil international.
Paris St-Germain, the Daily Mail claims, are concerned the player is actively angling for a move to the Bernabeu and may never pull on the tricolour shirt again. Unai Emery told reporters that Neymar Jr dictates when he returns to first-team action:
“It all depends on how he (Neymar) feels. And when he’s ready to start the test, he’ll come back. When? I don’t know, I don’t know. When he’s well.”
It’s viewed as an unhealthy relationship at the moment with too much power in the player’s hands. With the World Cup this summer, the concern in France is that he is putting country before club.
However, despite speculation that he has a release clause in his contract, the director of LFP, the French Football League, Didier Quillot, emphatically denied one existed.
“In his contract which is registered with the league, and is official, there is no buy-out clause,” Quillot told reporters.
“And secondly these types of clauses are illegal in French football.”
Real president Florentino Perez is in contact with the player’s father and both are keen to make a move happen. A fee, however, is unlikely to be agreed on with Paris St-Germain; football won’t permit anything more than the £200m fee the French club paid to Barcelona, surely?