The French league 1 defending champions Paris Saint-Germain, which beat Nimes 3-0 last weekend in the first round, lost 2-1 at Rennes on Sunday which indicates that they are still missing Brazil forward Neymar. PSG went ahead in the 36th minute when Edinson Cavani took an advantage of a poor back pass by Rennes defender Damien Da Silva. M’Baye Niang leveled with a stunning effort shortly before the interval and Romain Del Castillo was left unmarked to head in what turned out to be the winner early in the second half.
The return to Spain looks like the only want-away option for the Brazilian star as PSG continues looking to move him away from the club. Reports indicate that Barcelona and Real Madrid are both eying his services. The difficulties that come with completing a Neymar transfer are plentiful. Between the exorbitant return PSG will want and the layers Barcelona or Real Madrid would need to sift through, it has to make both sides wonder whether it’s really worth the effort. His talent is undeniable, but it’s not as simple as just plugging and playing.
PSG wants Nelson Semedo, Ousmane Dembele and Ivan Rakitic and money from Barcelona. It’s reported that Barcelona preferred to part ways with Philippe Coutinho as part of the move and not lose Dembele and Semedo. Dembele reportedly does not want to go to Paris. That was something that PSG did not appear to want and is not even a possibility anymore with Coutinho heading on loan to Bayern Munich. So desperate is Neymar to return to Barcelona, though, that he’s reportedly willing to accept a significant pay cut, something that would perhaps entice Barcelona to give up an asset it otherwise wants to keep.
Neymar, who drew the ire of the club’s fans at its season-opening match, is very important to PSG as the club is already planting the seeds to pivot and keep him, for at least another half of a season. “It’s known that there are negotiations about his future but at the moment none of them is at an advanced stage,” PSG sporting director Leonardo, who has been rather blunt all along, recently said. “Neymar is still a PSG player and we shouldn’t forget he still has three seasons left on his contract. We need to analyze and resolve all the issues before he can play again. … Neymar has made mistakes. The days I’m getting to know him, I know he’s a good guy. Besides, he’s an incredible player.”
For all of the fuss over Neymar, he has been included in Brazil’s squad for September friendly matches against Colombia and Peru, marking his return to the national side after missing its Copa America triumph on home soil with an injury suffered before the competition. Neymar became the most expensive player in the world when he moved from Barcelona to PSG for 222 million euros (about $250 million) in 2017. But his two seasons with the French champions have been disappointing compared to the club’s huge expectations.