Football News

PSG president hints at plan to get tough with “superstars” amid Neymar exit talk

By James Richards

Published: 13:35, 17 June 2019

Neymar is reportedly looking to leave PSG this summer after becoming frustrated with their lack of success in Europe.

This has been added to by comments from club president, Nassar Al-Khelaifi, suggesting players not committed to the club can leave.

Is Neymar on the verge of leaving PSG? Five key things to know…

  1. Neymar signed for PSG in 2017 for a record €222m.
  2. Since being at the club, he has suffered several injuries.
  3. PSG have failed to get past the Champions League last 16 during Neymar’s time in Paris.
  4. The French Champions will reportedly not sell Neymar for less than they paid for him.
  5. Club president Al-Khelaifi has suggested players will have to ‘work more’ or be shown the door.

In a revealing interview, the president of PSG and chairman of Qatar Sports Investment, Al-Khelaifi, has ripped into the culture of players at the club.

Although he did not specifically mention Neymar by name, it is thought that he is referring, in part, to the Brazilian after a year that has seen several controversial incidents including the slapping of a spectator in April.

Al-Khelaifi is also thought to have been angered by comments made by Neymar last week that suggested he is unhappy in the French capital, according to reports in Spain.

Neymar was forced to attend a hearing with Sao Paulo police last week after he was accused of rape by a Brazilian woman, Najila Trindade. The incident, which he denies, is claimed to have occurred at a Paris hotel in mid-May.

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The club president reacted by taking a strong stance against the ‘superstar behaviour’ at the club, admitting he is happy to show the door to anyone not willing to work harder for the success of PSG.

“The players are going to have to assume their responsibilities even more than before,” Al-Khelaifi told France Football.

“It has to be completely different. They will have to do more, work more… They are not here to have fun.

“And if they don’t agree with this point of view, the doors are open. Ciao!

“I no longer want to have superstar behaviour.”

But despite his comments and the reports suggesting they are aimed at Neymar, Al-Khelaifi insisted the 27-year-old moved to PSG of his own free will to be a part of their ‘project’.

He added: “I want players willing to give everything for the shirt, club and project. Of course, there are contracts to be respected, but the priority now is total commitment to the project. Nobody forced Neymar to sign for us. He came for the project.”

Al-Khelaifi wants the club to have a far stricter stance when dealing with their highly paid stars, yet he has insisted that Leonardo will have the power to deal with the sporting side of the club.

“In two minutes, we reached a full agreement [for Leonardo to return],” he noted.

“He’s going to have full sporting power.”

Neymar is paid a yearly wage of €30m, which limits the number of clubs he could realistically move to. Barcelona is one destination that has been mooted on several occasions, while both Real Madrid and Manchester United are linked to the Brazilian. However, with PSG unwilling to sell their star on the cheap, he could well remain in Paris for a while longer.