Neymar has been accused of ‘stabbing [Lionel] Messi in the back’, in reference to his Paris Saint Germain teammate.
Neymar left FC Barcelona in the summer of 2017 after the Qatari-backed giants triggered his €222mn ($237.2mn) release clause.
Four years later, the Brazilian was said to have played a huge part in Messi leaving the Catalans and agreeing to join him at the Parc des Princes on a free transfer after president Joan Laporta failed to find a way to navigate a strict La Liga salary cap and offer him a new contract.
Fast forward to 2023 and the future of both men in France is uncertain. While Messi is said to be thinking about leaving as a free agent when his original two year deal expires on June 30, reports have suggested that Neymar will be offloaded for as low as €50mn which has allegedly attracted Chelsea’s interest.
With Neymar again suffering an injury at the most crucial point of the season, as PSG are on the brink of being knocked out of the Champions League by the team that beat them in the 2020 final, Bayern Munich, Catalan newspaper El Nacional has accused Neymar of ‘stabbing Messi in the back’.
This has been suggested due to Neymar not intending to leave PSG while tied down to a contract that runs until 2025.
If Neymar stays, it then becomes practically impossible for Messi to continue in Ligue 1 as PSG attempt to navigate Financial Fair Play rules.
Last week, it was reported that Messi has no intention to trigger an optional additional year in his contract due to the Parisians, or rather the Qataris, being unable to offer him the same reported €30mn ($32mn) he currently takes home and attempting to lower hi spay.
A move to Inter Miami in the MLS will now be prioritized it was said, with the player’s father and agent Jorge pouring cold water on a potential return to Barca by saying that he does “not think Leo will play for Barca again”.
Such accusations towards Neymar are a little harsh – especially at a time when PSG is reportedly beset by behind-the-scenes rifts between certain players and sporting director Luis Campos.
But it now seems most likely that both South Americans will walk to new clubs ahead of 2023/2024.
What would be ultimate irony, however, is that the same Financial Fair Play rules that brought Messi to PSG now look as though they will take him away from it.
With Barca warned to shave €200mn ($213mn) from their wage bill in the coming months, an approach for 35-year-old Messi to retire in Blaugrana is complicated.