PSG set Neymar and Mbappé priorities ahead of big year
The past and futures of PSG's French and Brazilian forwards are connected and reports in France now have the club making their priorities clear.
The futures of Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappé seem to be inextricably linked. The two players signed a contract with Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 and both did so for five seasons. There has always been interest in them from other big clubs around Europe, especially the young Frenchman, with Real Madrid as the most advanced admirer, but as we enter 2020, the question being asked in French football is not about both stars remaining in Paris, but which of the two PSG will prioritise to hold onto.
Neymar or Mbappé? C’est là la question
French media outlet Le Parisien has been looking into the situation of how this decision could play out and believes that the coming summer market will be when any changes transpire. PSG will have to either convince them by then to sign an extended contract or accept defeat and sell them. The Ligue 1 giants will not want to take the risk of losing their prized assets in 2021 for considerably less than market value as the contracts run down, and could hardly fathom them disappearing for free the year after. This is why the club has been working hard to negotiate new deals over recent months, and this will continue.
The idea that both players could leave simultaneously at the end of the season is something that PSG cannot even contemplate, and according to the French newspaper this has been ruled out "as a matter of sporting strategy and shareholder pride." Talks with Mbappé to extend his contract beyond 2022 have yet to bear fruit, while discussions with Barça-linked Neymar have yet to begin. Ahead of this season, the soap opera of the Brazilian returning to Camp Nou played out with no end result, and this cost him some love in the capital city known for romance. With changing objectives in Catalonia, it could be that some desire has been lost too, with Lautaro now front and centre of their plans.
Mbappé is PSG's desired base
Right now, the scenario that both Neymar and Mbappé stay with PSG is still believed to be most likely by some, although for quite opposite reasons. In the case of the French star, he is seen as the basis for the club's sporting project and due to his age his value in world football is expected to continue to head north. Clearly there will be pressure coming from the likes of Madrid and the player may make a stay untenable.
Neymar, however, has seen his stock drop in recent times, despite still producing moments of genius on the pitch. His 28 years of age means time is not on his side and he needs to prove to the watching world that he is still eating at the very top table.
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