Thomas Tuchel says Neymar tried everything possible to leave PSG
Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed that Neymar did everything in his
power to push through a move to Barcelona during the summer transfer window.
The attacker had been desperate for a return to the Camp Nou but the deal did
not materialise with the Blaugrana failing to meet Les Parisiens’ transfer
result, Neymar has had no choice but to report for first-team duty with the
French champions and he recently made the headlines by scoring the winner
against Strasbourg with a stunning overhead kick in stoppage time. Despite his
contribution, a large section of the faithful continued to object his presence
on the field and Tuchel feels the reaction is acceptable, considering Neymar
wanted his way out of the club.
"He did not want to be here. He tried everything in his power [to leave the club]. That did not help make him popular,” he told DAZN. “You could feel that, and I can understand if the fans are angry, even permanently. Nevertheless, there is also a side between me as a coach and him as a player. There was never a break or a discrepancy. That's why it was very easy for me to let him play. He has always trained professionally. I feel that the decision was a relief to him, even though it was against his wishes.”
Neymar had personally communicated the desire to rejoin the Blaugrana during the early stages of the summer transfer window but a deal always seemed improbable after the club spent more than £100m to pursue Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid. Still, the Blaugrana had approached Les Parisiens with a £110m offer with Ivan Rakitic and Jean-Clair Todibo as makeweights but that was swiftly knocked back before the transfer deadline. It remains to be seen whether the Spanish club return for the Brazilian at the turn of the year.