Neymar’s supposed Paris Saint-Germain switch has taken an extraordinary twist after reports in Spain claimed he is now set to stay at Barcelona.
AS has claimed that Barcelona’s club president Josep Maria Bartomeu held crisis talks with the Brazil superstar and his representatives in a bid to convince him to stay at the Nou Camp.
Those discussions, coupled with Neymar’s teammates imploring him to remain in Catalunya, have now seemingly swayed the 25-year-old to begin turning his back on a lucrative move to France and lean towards staying with the Copa del Rey holders.
Other key Barcelona first-teamers such as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique are all alleged to have persuaded Neymar that La Blaugrana have his best interests at heart and that there is no need to depart for the Parc de Princes.
Those statements, coupled with manager Ernesto Valverde’s comments about “absolutely” being able to depend on Neymar’s loyalty have all led to the ex-Santos star having a change of heart and tip the balance back in Barcelona’s favour.
If true, the latest development in this weekend’s major transfer saga will prove a decisive blow in PSG’s attempts to prise him away from the La Liga giants in a reported world-record £196m deal.
This is all amid reports that the Ligue 1 heavyweights had apparently agreed terms with Neymar after meeting with him and his father over a possible transfer, and were prepared to hand him a four-year contract to swap Barcelona for the French capital.
That contract may now never be signed by Neymar and will leave PSG having to scramble for another transfer target.
Reports on Saturday afternoon suggested that Unai Emery’s side had reignited their interest in Alexis Sanchez and had bid around £35m for the Chilean striker. If Neymar’s change of heart is accurate, it would certainly lend weight to PSG’s pursuit of Sanchez once more.