Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has dismissed claims that Neymar has been removed from the club following transfer speculations.
The Brazilian missed his team’s Ligue 1 opener last season and has not trained with the team. This gave birth to rumours suggesting that he has been banished from the club. But Leonardo refuted these claims and revealed that Neymar is following a personalised rehabilitation programme and will be integrated into the squad only after he is completely fit.
“It’s false. He has not been removed from the group,” he told RMC. “He is following a personalised rehabilitation program. He is a Paris-Saint-Germain player, there are still three years left on his contract in Paris, we must not forget that.
“We must analyse everything, we must fix everything before he can play again.
“Things are simple, Neymar was monitored by several great doctors and surgeons early in the season and his fracture is fully consolidated on the fifth metatarsal. Neymar’s injury is completely healed.”
The sporting director admitted that the club is negotiating with other clubs but did not rule out the possibility of Neymar staying at the club.
“There are discussions for his future as you know it today but nothing advanced,” he said.
“Neymar made mistakes. You know, I didn’t know him. As the days go by, I get to know him. And I honestly think he’s a good boy with a very good background. And on the pitch, he’s an amazing player.”
PSG midfielder Marco Verratti claimed his side were unaffected by anti-Neymar chants from the fans on Sunday as the French champions kicked off their Ligue 1 campaign with a comfortable 3-0 win over Nimes.
Edinson Cavani got the champions going from the penalty spot in the 24th minute and second half strikes from Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria wrapped up the points.
Neymar was not named in the PSG squad. The Brazilian superstar is said to be unsettled in France and has been linked with a return to Barcelona or even a move to Real Madrid.
Never far from the headlines, Neymar was also the focus of attention for a number of PSG fans, who held up a banner telling him to “get lost” and several unflattring chants were heard during the game aimed at the 27 year-old striker.
“I don’t know about that, I don’t know because I didn’t listen to the supporters in the stands,” insisted Verratti when asked about the chants.
“The fans pay for their tickets and they do what they want. But I also say that having Neymar when you’re in Paris for all the game, we only talk about him because he is an incredible man who has fascinated everyone.”
Watch the full reaction video from Verratti above.
Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe admitted that the French side won’t be the same should Neymar leave the club this summer.
The record signing was not named in the matchday squad for the comfortable 3-0 win over Nimes at the Parc des Princes with Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria all on the scoresheet.
But Neymar, said to be unsettled in France and who has been linked with Barcelona and Real Madrid, was also the focus of attention with a number of fans holding a banner telling him to “get lost” and chanting about the 27-year-old.
Despite heavy speculation over Neymar’s exit, Mbappe is hoping that the Brazilian stays at the club.
“It’s not the same team without Neymar as it is with him. But we will try to do it for the fans,” he told Canal+.
“But we will not lie. We must also see what will happen with Neymar.”