Neymar wants more competitive club, says Guillem Balague
Last Updated: 09/03/18 3:36pm
Neymar wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain for a more competitive team, but the Ligue 1 champions have no intention of allowing the Brazilian to leave the Parc des Princes this summer, according to Sky Sports' Spanish football expert Guillem Balague.
Neymar - who is currently sidelined after fracturing a metatarsal and spraining an ankle against Marseille at the start of March - joined PSG from Barcelona in a world-record deal in August, with the forward signing a five-year deal in the French capital.
However, despite contributing 29 goals and 19 assists in just 30 matches in all competitions in his debut season with the Parisians, the 26-year-old's arrival has not been enough to prevent the club from being eliminated from the Champions League at the last-16 stage by Real Madrid this week.
"We're going to hear in the next few months, even next season, indicating Neymar wants to leave PSG, from different angles," Balague told Sky Sports.
"I believe it comes from the same source - his entourage. I think he's realised PSG isn't the place for him, I think he wants to look for a more competitive place to play."
La Liga and European champions Madrid are reportedly keen on bringing Neymar back to Spain next season, although PSG are unwilling to sanction the player's departure, says Balague.
Neymar has realised he is not in the right place to take him to the next level
"AS has today said €400m will be the amount quoted to Real if PSG are open to sell - the problem is, they are not open to sell right now anyway.
"When those figures come up, though, it does mean someone does want to do something about it, and I believe Neymar has realised he is not in the right place to take him to the next level.
"Madrid want him, of course, he wants to go, but PSG don't want to let him go. That's the gist of it."
To add a further twist to this tale, the unhappy the Brazil international reportedly favours a return to Barcelona - who he spent four seasons at before joining PSG last summer - but either way, he will still be at the Ligue 1 club next season, according to Balague.
"The other story is that he has told players and Barcelona directors that he wants to come back to Barca," explains Balague. "In my eyes, another story to come from his entourage to add pressure to PSG so they start to think about letting him go. But PSG are, at the moment, laughing it off.
"I do believe the story, which has been told to somebody close to Neymar, and I believe the journalist who has written it.
"It's just a matter of putting it in context. There will be more and more stories like this, and it is true that Real Madrid have already met his representatives, but PSG insist he is not for sale.
"I think he will have to be there for at least one more year, and then we will see what happens."