“L’Efake”: Neymar Sr slams French newspaper for bogus transfer rumour

"L'Efake": Neymar Sr slams French newspaper for bogus transfer rumour
Paris, Frankreich, 14.02.2023: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) schaut waehrend des Achtelfinalspiels der UEFA Champions League zwischen FC Paris Saint-Germain vs FC Bayern Muenchen im Parc des Princes am 14. February 2023 in Paris, Frankreich. (Foto von Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images) Paris, France, 14.02.2023: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) looks on during the UEFA Champions League – Round-of-16 match between Paris Saint-Germain vs Bayern Munich at Parc des Princes on February 14, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images) – Photo by Icon sport

Brazilian superstar Neymar’s fractious relationship with PSG and his possible move away from the Parisian giants has filled plenty of gossip and transfer columns this summer, though an interview with his father has added a fresh plot twist to the saga.

With briefings and counter-briefings being fed to the media by both Paris St. Germain and Neymar’s camp, confusion over the attacker’s future has been rife, and the story’s latest development has only added to the complications.

French outlet L’Equipe had published a story that suggested Neymar had informed officials at PSG of his intentions to seek a transfer away from the Ligue 1 champions this summer, however, the player’s father and agent, fired back at the report, labelling it as “fake news”.

Speaking in a fiery exchange with Premier League Brasil, Neymar da Silva Santos said: “I can't confirm a news that didn't happen. L'Equipe being L'Efake. (The alleged information) came from somewhere, let's try to understand the intention.”

PSG and Neymar: What next?

With Lionel Messi now at Inter Miami in the MLS and contract rebel Kylian Mbappe edging closer to the exit door at PSG, Neymar stands to be the last bastion of the club’s “Galacticos” era – an era that the domestically dominant outfit are keen to move away from, according to reports.

Paris St. Germain are in the process of trying to rid themselves of their “bling bling” image, as described by president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and a more sustainable approach built around the signings of younger, hungrier players and the introduction of a team ethic in the traditional sense over a side littered with individuality is the target.

In many ways, Neymar is the poster boy of the old approach. The forward was signed for a world record fee of €222m from Barcelona in 2017 and though he has won five Ligue 1 titles in France since, the more highly-coveted Champions League has eluded him.

Neymar’s commitment to the cause in Paris has also long-been questioned, particularly by the club’s supporters, who staged a protest outside the Brazilian’s house last season following PSG’s Champions League elimination at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Round of 16.

That incident seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for Neymar and the 31-year-old has been trying to engineer a move back to Barcelona since.

"L'Efake": Neymar Sr slams French newspaper for bogus transfer rumour
Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar reacts during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Angers SCO at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on October 5, 2019. (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP) (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images)

Neymar’s Barcelona homecoming not guaranteed

While L’Equipe’s story detailing Neymar’s push for a PSG exit might have already been slammed as bogus by the player’s father, you do get the sense that parting of ways and a return to Barcelona would be the attacker’s ideal summer solution.

However, with Barca’s well-documented financial difficulties clouding things, Los Cules could struggle to put together a financial package viable enough to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou.

PSG and Barcelona have been locked in negotiations for another player however, and any deal struck between the giants for Ousmane Dembele could open up a pathway for Neymar to move in the opposite direction.

Dembele is expected to seal a return to his homeland soon and his €50m transfer could ease some of the financial pressures on Barcelona, allowing them to fund a pursuit of Neymar. It is worth noting however, that there are reports of a boardroom split at Barca over that potential piece of business.

This story will run and run, so stick with us for the latest updates.