When Paris Saint-Germain rocked the world of football two years ago after paying Barcelona €222m to acquire Neymar, their expectation, and his, was that the Brazilian would propel them to a longed-for Champions League and continued dominance in Europe.

In his 58 appearances for the French outfit, Neymar has scored 51 goals, so it can’t be said that he hasn’t contributed, however, he’s not been anywhere close to the standard-bearer that the Parisiens thought they were buying.

Injuries at key moments, permission to miss training, favouritism, arguments with team-mates… all of these things have combined to sully his reputation and take the shine off of some incredible match-winning performances.

A rape allegation led to a subsequent investigation which has since been closed by the judge in the case, but that’s merely added to the chaos that his career and life has become.

It’s abundantly clear that the player needs a clean break and to focus solely on the football again. Moreover, his antics have clearly upset his paymasters and PSG’s fan base.

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar reacts after an injury during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and OGC Nice at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on May 4, 2019. (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP) (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)

Left out of pre-season and also the first Ligue 1 game of the 2019/20 season played this past weekend, a 3-0 stroll against Nimes for PSG, the Brazilian was making a stand even if he hasn’t come out publicly and stated his desire to leave.

We’ve already reached the point of no return, though. 

There can’t be any coming back when the home crowd show their displeasure with banners reading ‘Neymar, son of a b**ch’ and ‘F**k off Neymar.’ 

Previously unwilling to do business with Barcelona, in light of the latest developments it now seems that PSG have been forced to soften their stance.

Whilst they would prefer to deal with Real Madrid, who it’s understood are also willing to provide a refuge for the Brazilian, Neymar’s desire is to be reunited with the likes of Messi, Suarez and Pique. Whether the Catalans do actually need him is a moot point at this stage.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 06: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates with Neymar and Luis Suarez after scoring his team's 3rd goal from the penalty spot during of the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Villarreal CF at Camp Nou stadium on May 6, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

For all concerned, the sooner the minutiae of the deal can be sorted, so much the better. If Neymar returns to training with PSG, his heart won’t be in it, and coach Thomas Tuchel can well do without such a toxic atmosphere seeping into his squad.

With less than a week to go until the beginning of the La Liga season too, Ernesto Valverde will want his squad settled and ready to better the one title which they lifted last season.

For all of his baggage, Barca are more likely to achieve something special with Neymar in their side.

 

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