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Saturday, April 1, 2023

From chasing the Balon D’or to getting farmed out on loan

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The jettisoning of Neymar is part of a “profound reform” of the Ligue 1 club say Mundo Deportivo, with El País suggesting that Kylian Mbappe’s renewal was contingent on a sharpening of professional practices in the French capital.

Neymar shown the PSG door

Neymar’s lackluster commitment to training – or as El País call it “his systematic indiscipline” has been cited as the club’s main gripe. And the player’s father was informed of the club’s intention in recent days.

This news comes after Nasser Al-Khelaifi told Le Parisien last week that “we want players who love the club, who love to fight, who love to win. And we want this mentality to spread throughout the club.”

The player himself is said to feel undervalued in Paris, and intends to show the PSG hierarchy that their desire to get rid is an error.

His aim now is to win the Ballon d’Or at another club, El País adds – which, if memory serves correctly, was the reason he left Barcelona in the first place. And that has not gone overly well. Perhaps best to focus on something else. Training, maybe.

Complicating matters, El Pais add, is the player’s brutal salary on a contract that runs until 2027. Thus, Neymar may have to leave on loan, with the Paris club set to cover some – read a lot – of his wages.

However, Neymar will not face the ignominy of getting farmed out to a Ligue 2 club. Nope. Chelsea, report Marca, have emerged as a potential destination for the 30-year-old. And another Brazilian jettisoned from the Parc des Princes – Thiago Silva – has stoked the proverbial transfer fires by saying that Neymar “has” to join Chelsea.

“He [Neymar] has to join Chelsea,” Silva said. “If it happens, it will be the best thing. Neymar needs no comment. So far, I don’t know anything, but I hope it comes to fruition.”

Now, on first inspection, Neymar to Chelsea seems to have as much credibility as the ITKs throwing about “Raphinha to Arsenal. Done deal. Seen the signed paperwork.”

However, the Brazilian would represent a lowish risk marquee signing for the incoming ownership group, Thomas Tuchel likes a forward who excels in one-on-one situations, has previously said the player “has a good heart“, and while Neymar has hardly embellished his reputation at PSG, he is still Neymar, and is still just 30

Thus, the Brazilian might be about to set about a serious redemption arc: winning the Ballon d’Or on loan at Chelsea. Granted it is not Burton Albion, but, still, for fans of narratives, this is a narrative.

Imagine the scenes as the Brazilian scores the winner in the Champions League final against PSG obviously – and then drops the Mbappe folded arms celebration, and collects the Ballon d’Or months later with the same celebration. All while on a five-year loan. Narrative.


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