Neymar and his possible departure from PSG

Various media outlets point to the imminent departure of the Brazil international from the Parisian ranks
Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar mourns after Champions League loss to Bayern Munich

PHOTO/IMAGES UEFA  -   Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar mourns after Champions League loss to Bayern Munich

The waters are turbulent at Paris Saint-Germain. Various media outlets have reported on PSG's possible intention to sell Neymar, the player who became the most expensive signing in world football in his day. The Qatar-based club paid 222 million euros to Barcelona for one of the most glittering stars in international football. 

According to media outlets such as El País and Marca, PSG's decision is for the Brazilian international to leave the Parisian team as part of the remodelling process that the club is undergoing, with Nasser al-Khelaifi at the helm, under the sporting leadership of Kylian Mbappé, who starred in the most explosive market move after his decision to renew his contract with PSG and not sign for Real Madrid despite the contacts and the strong interest of the current Champions League champions in signing the French striker, an interest that seemed to correspond with the player's wishes. In the end, Mbappé got a great financial offer to renew and that and the supposedly winning sporting project offered by PSG were decisive facts that ended up convincing Mbappé to stay. There has been a lot of talk about the possibility that the Parisian club also convinced the French star to stay with the argument that he will have a lot of say over the sporting decisions regarding the team's squad. 

Now the flagship of the French squad is Mbappé and the objective is to create a sporting project to suit him in order to finally win the Champions League, which is still eluding the Qatari owners despite the heavy investment of money made since 2011, when the Qatari fund QIA entered the Parisian club. 

AFP/FRANCK FIFE - El presidente qatarí de París Saint-Germain, Nasser al-Khelaifi
AFP/FRANCK FIFE - Paris Saint-Germain's Qatari president, Nasser al-Khelaifi

Another major sporting move recently at PSG was the hiring of Luis Campos as sporting director to replace Brazilian Leonardo, who has failed to live up to expectations according to many analysts. Despite the arrival of good players at PSG, the French team has failed to win in Europe and has only one Champions League final played and lost to Bayern Munich two years ago. The Portuguese sporting director did a great job at Monaco and now he will be one of the people in charge of reviving PSG's sporting project, especially with a focus on the Champions League.

Neymar's performances have been declining. This season, the Brazilian had an active final stretch of the season, but by January 2022 he had only played 130 of his team's 245 games. Last season, for example, he played only 28 of the fifty games, amid rumours of underperformance due to extra-sporting issues and his lifestyle. 

It seems that the Brazilian is now out of PSG's plans and they are looking for a new change of direction in order to finally try to reign in Europe, with new signings and the approval of Mbappé as the team's star player. Especially seeing how, despite spending a lot of money, the European Cups continue to go to more traditional teams such as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Liverpool. The French coach Christophe Galtier, who won the league title with Lille two seasons ago, precisely in a battle against the capital club, is expected to be in charge of the bench. 

PHOTO/FILE - Kylian Mbappé
PHOTO/FILE - Kylian Mbappé

There are now also hints of possible setbacks with the economic resolution of the contract of Neymar, who had an automatic contract renewal, which would now end in 2027 at a rate of 40 million annual salary between various concepts, as reported by various media. The cost of the Brazilian's departure could be high precisely because of this issue if there is no team that bets strongly on signing the Brazilian attacker. 

This could be a sad end for the striker who was the most expensive transfer in history for 222 million and who was one of the great international references of the Brazilian national team and of world football, who also had a great performance with Barcelona forming a front line alongside the Argentinean Lionel Messi and the Uruguayan Luis Suarez. They formed the attacking part of the Barcelona team that won the Champions League in 2015, the last one for the azulgrana team. Neymar decided to join PSG in 2017 after receiving a big financial offer, but the gamble did not seem to work out in the end and he has been fading on the international football scene. 

Kylian Mbappé y Lionel Messi
PHOTO/FILE - Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi

PSG tried to pull off another coup last year with the signing of Messi, but the Argentinian star has not performed as well as expected this past season with PSG. In any case, it seems that the Argentinian star is still trusted to continue to be part of the project that Mbappé is now leading, as the club's great sporting reference point ahead of Neymar and Messi themselves.