Why Kylian Mbappé could stop Manchester United signing Neymar and keep him at PSG

L’Équipe report that PSG’s 31-year-old attacker Neymar is considering staying at PSG this summer despite a difficult second half of the season which seemed likely to finally put an end to his Paris stay.

Another serious ankle injury saw the Brazilian’s campaign finish in February after a drop in form following an emotionally draining World Cup before Christmas. Neymar’s early season performances had often been unplayable but that didn’t stop a section of PSG’s vociferous ultras from protesting outside his house during the run-in. This final episode was seen as a tipping point.

The club, meanwhile, have reportedly been looking to sell Neymar since the arrival of sporting director Luis Campos last summer, despite his mammoth contract now running to 2027, as they’ve become tired of his off-pitch attitude and repeated injuries, but his future still depends on various factors.

Firstly, should Kylian Mbappé be sold, as is the club’s intention after Mbappé stated he would not sign a new deal before his contract expires, Neymar would be very likely stay in Paris with the club’s Qatari owners not wanting to lose both forwards and Lionel Messi in the same window. Luis Enrique’s likely appointment as PSG coach could also push Neymar to stay, given a good relationship from their Barcelona days between 2014 and 2017. Although the sports daily say this is far from guarantees the Brazilian’s stay. If successful, Paris’ pursuit of Bernardo Silva will also be a factor but Neymar is not interested in moving to Saudi Arabia as he is enjoying life in Paris, say the paper.

As a result, despite reported talks between Manchester United (among other English clubs) and PSG over a move last month, which could yet accelerate should the Old Trafford club fall under Qatari ownership with the bidding process rumbling on, Neymar is now more likely to stay in Ligue 1 than move on.

Adam White


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