Murmurings in the French press this morning suggest that – shock horror – several PSG players aren’t overly enamoured with Neymar and that the pedestal he’s been thrust upon by the club’s owners has caused an “atmosphere of tension” among the squad.
The Brazilian had a very public altercation with strike partner Edinson Cavani during a recent match against Lyon when the former attempted to wrest penalty taking duties from the latter.
According to El Pais, Cavani has since rejected a €1million sweetener from PSG owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi to hand over his penalty taking duties to Neymar.
Cavani rejects the [money] that Al-Khelaifi offers him to cede the penalties to the Brazilian and close the crisis. The squad, annoyed with the club, backs the Uruguayan.
The bonus apparently makes up part of an improved contract offer that Al-Khelaifi offered through an intermediary last week, which would see the lump sum paid if Cavani also finish the season as top goalscorer in Ligue 1.
His attempt was in vain.
Spanish football scribe Colin Millar offered further insight, also describing the “reconciliation dinner” held by Dani Alves in the wake of the Lyon debacle as being more akin to a “funeral”.
Essentially: club have no choice but to match Neymar’s demands but squad firmly back Cavani and genuine fears the rift is irreparable.
— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) September 24, 2017
Who’d have thought spending £200million on a prima donna with one of the fragilest, most petulant egos in world football and then forcibly installing him as the new poster boy of an already-established team would cause friction? Neymar is a spoiled brat, fixated on winning the Ballon d’Or: nothing more, nothing less.
PSG, and more specifically their vainglorious owners, deserve every bit of grief this sorry, childish palaver generates for them.