Paris Saint-Germain would not miss Neymar, says French football expert Jonathan Johnson
By Dan Sansom
Last Updated: 09/07/19 9:57pm
The sale of Neymar this summer would not be a huge loss to Paris Saint-Germain, according to French football expert Jonathan Johnson.
Neymar's future at PSG is unclear after he failed to return for the first day of pre-season training.
The club's sporting director Leonardo has said the 27-year-old can leave the club if there is an offer that "suits all parties", and Johnson believes the rise of Kylian Mbappe means PSG will be more willing to let the Brazilian leave.
"I think the development of Mbappe over the last couple of seasons has made it much easier for PSG to cushion the blow of losing Neymar," Johnson told the Transfer Talk podcast.
"At the same time when you think about Neymar's first two seasons at PSG, he hasn't completed either one of them. He's not played a full campaign for PSG and he's rarely been available in the really, really big matches - like the crunch period of the Champions League.
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"There's not actually going to be that much for PSG to really miss at this moment in time. You can't miss something you've never had and Neymar has only really been fleetingly available in the absolute crunch matches so I think that's one thing that will probably play into PSG's favour and actually makes it possible for them to split with him now."
The Ligue 1 club have already said they will take "appropriate action" for Neymar's absence from training, but Sky Sports News understands the player claims he told club officials he would return on July 15 as part of an agreed extended break.
Neymar is understood to have commitments with his charitable institute in Brazil this week and will not cancel plans with children involved in the project.
"Leonardo has come out and taken a very strong line with Neymar for not being back in time for the resumption of pre-season training," Johnson added.
"Neymar's father has responded by saying that PSG were informed that he wouldn't be back until at least July 15, but I think the wording of Neymar's father's response as well as Neymar's people is quite telling.
"Neymar informed the club, it wasn't actually agreed as Leonardo pointed out and because of that you can see this new mentality that is taking over at PSG since Leonardo returned as sporting director.
"Those days of Neymar basically telling the club what he'd be doing when is over and that's what's led to this flash-point and it now looks like PSG are willing to let him leave."
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