Neymar has made “mistakes” over his desire to leave Paris Saint-Germain, according to sporting director Leonardo.
The 27-year-old, who joined the Ligue 1 club for a world record £200m two years ago, is being pursued by his former club Barcelona and also Real Madrid. Sky Sports News reported Neymar had told PSG he wanted to leave in July.
Barcelona officials have held talks with PSG over a potential move this week, but Leonardo insists “nothing has advanced”, with just over two weeks until the European transfer window closes on September 2.
Neymar was absent from the matchday squad for the club’s opening weekend victory against Nimes last weekend, with a number of fans holding a banner telling him to “get lost” and chanting about him during the game.
Asked about the reactions from the Parc des Princes crowd, Leonardo told RMC Sport: “Neymar has made mistakes.
“I didn’t know him before. Over time, I have got to know him. I honestly think he is a good boy with a very good heart. On the pitch, he is an extraordinary player.”
Leonardo has also dismissed reports that Neymar has been removed from Thomas Tuchel’s playing group.
The Brazil international has not played for PSG since May 11 and missed the entirety of the Copa America with an ankle ligament injury.
“It’s wrong. He is not removed from the group,” Leonardo said.
“He follows his personalised rehabilitation program. He’s a Paris Saint-Germain player, he’s still in Paris for three years, so do not forget. We must analyse everything, we must fix everything before he can play again.”
Neymar sustained a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot last season and French newspaper Le Parisien have reported he has missed training because the injury has still not healed.
However, Leonardo has dismissed this: “Things are simple. He was handled by the best doctors and surgeons in the world.
“The treatment has completely healed Neymar’s fractured fifth metatarsal. His injury has completely been taken care of.”
Thought the transfer window was closed? Wrong. Across Europe, plenty of deals are still being done, with Premier League players still able to move to the continent.