Neymar: PSG want Real Madrid deal amid poor Barça relations
While Paris Saint-Germain's rapport with Real Madrid is very good, the same cannot be said of their relationship with Barcelona...
Paris Saint-Germain are no longer making any attempt to conceal their eagerness to offload Neymar, who they signed only two years ago in a world-record, 222m-euro deal from Barcelona. On Saturday, PSG's sporting director, Leonardo, spoke openly about the club's efforts to sell the forward, telling reporters that talks over his departure "are more advanced than before".
It's not the first time Leonardo has publicly discussed selling Neymar, who is also keen for a summer transfer after two seasons in Paris that may have yielded plenty of domestic silverware, but have also brought Champions League failure and two major injuries. Early in July, he opened the exit door to his compatriot when he told Le Parisien: "He can leave PSG if there is an offer that suits everyone."
Leonardo's remarks then and now reflect a deterioration in relations between club and player that has persuaded both that it is time for a parting of ways.
Neymar continues to train alongside his PSG team-mates as he waits for his future to be sorted out, although this won't be a straightforward process. With the Premier League transfer window now closed, only two clubs are both open to signing him and in a position to do so: Real Madrid and Barça. On Saturday, Leonardo avoided saying which of the two is better placed to secure the 27-year-old's services.
PSG ready to let Real Madrid do initial loan deal
Neymar left out of PSG's Ligue 1 opener on Sunday
Although Tuchel used fitness as an excuse, claiming Neymar "isn't ready", Leonardo's earlier admission that his omission was a "decision made by the club" made it clear that this is an absence that ensures an untimely injury doesn't scupper both parties attempts' to bring the player's time in France to an end.