Ligue 1: Neymar's father, Paris Saint-Germain owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi say superstar has future at club

With Neymar out for weeks while he recuperates from foot surgery, reports have emerged in the European media that the Brazilian is disenchanted with PSG.

AFP March 14, 2018 09:56:07 IST
Ligue 1: Neymar's father, Paris Saint-Germain owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi say superstar has future at club

Praia Grande: Neymar's father and the head of Paris Saint-Germain both poured cold water on Tuesday over rumours that the world's most expensive footballer wants to quit the French club after returning from injury.

"Neymar already has a future at PSG, Neymar already has a present at PSG," Neymar Santos Sr told journalists at his son's charity centre, the Neymar Junior Institute, in Praia Grande, Sao Paulo state.

Ligue 1 Neymars father Paris SaintGermain owner Nasser AlKhelaifi say superstar has future at club

Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Neymar Sr quashed all rumours of Neymar leaving PSG. AFP

With the superstar striker out for weeks while he recuperates from foot surgery, reports have emerged in the European media that Neymar is disenchanted with PSG and wants to return to his old club Barcelona — or even make a shock move to arch rivals Real Madrid.

Without the injured Neymar, PSG went crashing out of the Champions League to Real Madrid in the last 16 this month.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, his sports director Antero Henrique and club spokesman Jean-Martial Ribes visited the 26-year-old at his luxury house near Brazil's coast on Monday and his charity institute on Tuesday.

Their trip had been planned far in advance of the current uproar, Ribes told AFP. However, the meeting, which Neymar Sr recorded with photos on his Instagram feed, couldn't help having something of the look of a crisis summit.

Emerging in front of reporters at the institute, both sides seemed keen to quash the speculation.

Neymar "is happy, highly motivated and excited to come back as soon as possible," Al-Khelaifi said.

However, journalists were told that they could not ask about the Real Madrid rumours.

Question of timing

Neymar fractured a bone in his right foot on 25 February and faces a lengthy lay-up following surgery in early March.

Brazilian team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar has said that Neymar — transferred to PSG from Barcelona after the French club paid his €222 million buyout clause last August — will need at least two and a half months, maybe three, to return to action.

PSG still hopes to get him back before the end of its season.

"Everybody is doing his best to come back as soon as possible, without any risk for sure," Al-Khelaifi said.

"But the doctors are going to say. I’m not in a position to say exactly when he will come back. The doctors are following and it depends on recovery, but I think he’s in good shape," the club president said.

Brazil's national team are hoping he will be back to full fitness in time to help lead them at the World Cup starting in Russia on 14 June. Experts say that while Neymar will be short of match practice, he could benefit by arriving at the tournament fresher than his rivals.

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