PSG Sporting Director full Interview: Neymar, de Ligt, Matuidi, Thiago Silva and more..
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Sporting director of the French Champions gave an interview to, Le Parisien, one of the major magazines in France.
The Interview happened on 8th of July, the same day when the entire PSG squad was announced to return for the first session of the pre-season. Everyone showed up except their world-record signing Neymar Jr.
The French club also released an official statement on Twitter regarding Neymar not showing up for the session and regretted saying that they will have to take appropriate action against their star player.
What is the problem going on between Neymar and Paris Saint-Germain?
Today, he did not turn up at the start of pre-season. He was supposed to turn up and didn’t. But he knew that he was supposed to be here. We are going to look at the measures that we can take, like we would have done for all employees in this position and like we will do.
Did you receive any explanation from Neymar and his team?
He took on commitments in terms of his institute and his sponsors. But these were not the dates that were agreed with the club. He played his last match on 6th June. Holidays were until 8th July. And then, he did not come.
Do you have any Idea on what date will Neymar come back to training PSG?
I don’t know. The only thing I know is that he was not present on the day he was supposed to be, on the 8th of July.
Has Neymar told you that he wants to leave?
It is clear for everyone. But in football, you can say one thing today and another thing the next… It is incredible but it is like that.
Since your arrival at PSG, on the 14th June, have you spoken with Neymar?
Yes. I am not going to retell all the details of our conversation. We spoke with his entourage too. Everyone knows everything. The position was made clear by all the participants. But the only thing that is concrete today is the following: he has another 3 years of contract with us. And as we have not received an offer, we cannot discuss anything.
At its heart, why does he want to leave?
I have already responded to you. When a player wants to leave the club, and I am not talking about Neymar in particular, that is a normal life in football. Why does that have to be viewed as dishonorable? As if the club has not convinced the player to stay. Like it is always the club’s fault. And in the case of Neymar who turned up late to the start of pre-season, is that still the responsibility of the club who has failed to deal with the problem? No. If the player arrives late, that is his fault. Aside from that, there will be internal procedures and we will see how things go. Players not turning up at pre-season, that does not merely happen at PSG.
Has PSG recieved any offers for Neymar?
We have not received a single offer. But we have had, it is true, very superficial contacts.
Do you understand the strategy taken by Barcelona?
They have expressed that they wanted to buy him but also saying that we did not want to sell him.
It was the Barcelona President, Josep Maria Bartomeu, who said that…?
Yes, he said that… But we, we have not seen that Barcelona are really in a position to buy him.
On what conditions will you accept a sale?
We will have to speak and negotiate, that is all. No more questions about Neymar, please.
One last one. Do you have any fixed date by which this Neymar situation has to be over?
It is an important question indeed. Whether or not the transfer happens, it changes a lot of things. Next, a potential deal of this size is not merely a question of feelings. It is a question of finances.
Is it really impossible for Neymar to leave this summer?
Neymar could leave PSG if an offer is made that works for everyone. But as of today, we don’t know if anyone wants to buy him, nor for what price. All of that won’t be happening in a single day, that’s for sure.
So PSG do not want to keep Neymar at any cost?
PSG wants to count on players who want to stay and build something great. We don’t need players who feel like they are doing the club a favor by staying.
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PSG must be bigger than Neymar, that’s it is it?
For a club to advance, it must control everything. Including its most important players.
How are you dealing with the uncertainty surrounding Neymar to work on this summer window?
There is no plan “with Neymar” and “without Neymar”. The reality is that he has a contract with PSG. Today, there is no offer.
what are the other requirements for PSG in this transfer window?
We need a defensive midfielder and maybe a player to complete the central defense. In attack, we already have lots of options. It will be important to see young players grow into the 1st team. But there is another important element, that we cannot hide from FFP. We have to respect the rules and criteria in place.
In central defense, is it still possible that De Ligt will join PSG?
No. De Ligt will not be coming to PSG. The possibility existed. He is a fantastic player but it was not the right moment to make this type of big investment. We need to calm down a bit. We don’t have a €200m budget to spend just like this.
Does Koulibaly of Napoli really interest PSG?
He is a very expensive player… There is no specific target at the moment. But I do not want to talk about individual cases.
Will Thiago Silva remain the PSG captain next season?
Thiago still has another year’s worth of contract with the club. He has been here for 7 years. He is a very important player for the team.
Did you try to convince Adrien Rabiot to sign a contract extension or to stay?
No. I made contact with his mother just to say hello but things were already very advanced with Juventus. We didn’t offer him anything.
The arrival of Rabiot at Juventus could push Blaise Matuidi to the exit door at Juventus. In these conditions, would his return to PSG be possible, desirable?
I love Matuidi. I have a lot of respect and esteem for him. He has always been fundamental for PSG. But PSG today, there are already players and we are going to continue to play with 11 players on the pitch…