Neymar Junior remains the most expensive footballer in history five years on from his incredible €222m move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain. What has been less impressive is his career in France.
Despite being a leading light for several years in Paris, Neymar has fallen into the shadow of Kylian Mbappe since the 2020 Champions League final.
With European glory still out of reach and a lethargic Ligue 1 campaign last time, Neymar was a long way from the level that made many think he might be the next Ballon d’Or winner after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Now with Messi and Mbappe on his team, PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi was less than convincing when Marca asked him whether Neymar would be staying at the club.
“We can’t speak about that in the media, some will arrive and others will go, but they are private negotiations.”
According to Marca, the player is set on staying at the club anyway. Yet any efforts to do so seem futile. The Brazilian commands a wage that is out of the question and has a contract until 2025. Aged 30 and racking up injuries, few clubs would be willing to risk a large financial outlay.
For several years, Barcelona would have been his route out. The Blaugrana have been linked with a sensational move to bring back Neymar more or less ever since he left – except this summer.
Finally it appears the Catalans have no intention of moving for Neymar in the first season where PSG might have been willing to discuss terms for a deal. For both Neymar and PSG, it appears they are destined to see out their pact.