Barcelona or Real Madrid? PSG chief Leonardo confirms ‘more advanced’ Neymar exit negotiations

PSG sporting director Leonardo has this afternoon confirmed that the club are currently in talks over the sale of Neymar.

PSG stint

The story surrounding the future of gifted attacker Neymar has been one of the talking points of the summer transfer window.

Neymar of course departed Barcelona for Ligue 1 giants PSG two summers ago, for a world-record 222 million euro fee.

To this point, however, the 27-year-old’s stint in France has proven somewhat underwhelming.

All told, Neymar has directly contributed to a frankly-staggering 80 goals across 58 appearances in PSG’s colours.

However, while the Santos youth product has absolutely dazzled when fit and firing at the Parc des Princes, a pair of long-term injury problems have seen the 27-year-old confined to the sidelines when PSG have needed him most in each of his two seasons in Paris.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 18: Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain runs with the ball under pressure from Mohamed Salah of Liverpool during the Group C match of the UEFA Champions League between Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain at Anfield on September 18, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

In addition, rumours of dressing room unrest have been rampant, with PSG’s shock collapse at the hands of Manchester United in the Champions League’s last-16 back in March having no doubt seen Thomas Tuchel’s fractious, ego-rampant squad pushed further apart.

Barcelona return?

Such problems, meanwhile have since led to mounting speculation in the media over recent months, suggesting that Neymar could depart the Parc des Princes this summer.

The outfit most-persistently touted as a potential destination, meanwhile, have been the South American’s former club Barcelona.

The last week, however, has seen a new, and somewhat surprising fellow contender emerge.

The outfit in question are Barca’s fierce rivals Real Madrid.

On the back of their failure, to this point, to lure Paul Pogba to the Bernabeu from Manchester United, Los Blancos are widely-reported to have switched their attentions to the PSG standout in their search for another marquee signing.

The latest reports emerging from Spain this afternoon, though, suggest that the Blaugrana remain ahead of their Clasico rivals in the race for Neymar’s signature.

As per the reliable Gerard Romero, the Brazilian himself favours a return to the Camp Nou.

In addition, negotiations are said to be well underway between the Spanish champions and PSG, with all of Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Nelson Semedo and Jean-Clair Todibo having been discussed as part of a deal.

Barcelona, though, are keen on a loan with obligation to buy.

Neymar inching towards exit

And, ahead of PSG’s Ligue 1 season opener versus Nimes tomorrow afternoon, club sporting director Leonardo has this afternoon confirmed that negotiations over Neymar’s departure from the Parc des Princes are ‘more advanced than before’.

Crucially, however, Leonardo failed to confirm whether it is Barca or Real whom he and the PSG board have been talking to:

‘Talks are more advanced than before, but no agreement.’

‘We will see what happens – everybody needs the future to be defined.’

Quotes via Goal

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