Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, the Brazilian superstar better known simply as Neymar, has long been rumored to be on the move out of his current club, the defending French Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, at least since the end of last season when the club’s Qatari ownership sent a delegation to Brazil, according to El Pais newspaper.
The PSG executives visited Neymar in his lavish home where he was recovering from a broken bone in his foot, to persuade the temperamental star to fly back to Paris with them. They requested that Neymar join the festivities in honor of the club’s fifth league title in the past six years, in a show of unity with the team. But Neymar refused, opting to play poker at home as his teammates lifted their trophy 6,000 miles away.
Since then, news leaked that if Neymar were to try forcing his way out of Paris, the club’s transfer price tag would be a whopping $350 million, dwarfing the world record $260 million that PSG paid to pry the Brazilian away from Spanish giants Barcelona, according to a report on the Joe.co.uk site.
But the price tag has not quelled the rumors that Neymar, who scored his team’s opening goal in PSG’s weekend 4-2 win over Nimes per the BBC, continues to play his exit from the French champions.
Real Madrid was widely linked to the Brazilian, a move that would bring Neymar back to Spain, but yet another rumor stated that Neymar planned to move to Manchester City in order to play for iconic manager Pep Guardiola, who departed Barcelona the year before Neymar arrived. However, according to a report by Britain’s Daily Express newspaper, Neymar has no taste for England’s north, preferring to move to one of the London clubs — specifically Chelsea or Arsenal.
“He loves England — but mainly London. He has been there three or four times in the last 12 months. He says there is always something about London,” a “source” that the Express said was close to Neymar told the paper.
“The last time he kept ringing me up and begging me to join him because he loved it so much. He kept saying ‘this place is amazing, this place is amazing.’ He just loves London.”
Fans of PSG’s rival Ligue 1 teams appear ready to see Neymar leave France. During last weekend’s trip to Nimes, fans there held a banner with the word chorona, which is Portuguese for “crybaby.” But as the Evening Standard reported, Neymar ran directly over to the fans after scoring his goal and rubbed his eyes, pretended to shed tears, mocking the rival supporters.