Neymar's desire praised by Leonardo amid ongoing doubts over PSG future

By Sports Desk December 16, 2019

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo praised the desire of Neymar amid ongoing speculation linking him with an exit from the Ligue 1 champions.

Neymar was desperate to leave PSG during the previous transfer window, however, a return to former club Barcelona did not materialise.

There continue to be doubts over the PSG superstar's future in Paris ahead of the January transfer window.

Leonardo was asked about Neymar after the Brazil international supplied two assists and missed a second-half penalty in Sunday's 4-0 Ligue 1 rout of Saint-Etienne.

"I think Neymar is making a lot of effort in every way and also in terms of state of mind," Leonardo told reporters.

"I think the story we have lived is real, it happened a short time ago, but I see a lot of effort on his part.

"The system also forces him to go back, ditto for Kylian [Mbappe], [Mauro] Icardi too, [Edinson] Cavani always did and Pablo Sarabia and [Angel] Di Maria ... they make themselves available and we also have a balance behind that we are forced to have.

"Coming back to Neymar, he still has a lot to do, but I see a real desire on his part to make himself available."

With the transfer market set to reopen in January, PSG have been linked to Juventus outcast Emre Can – who could swap places with Leandro Paredes.

As speculation intensifies, Leonardo urged for Thomas Tuchel to be left alone over transfers.

"I think I'm going to ask you not to ask the coach questions about the transfer window," he said. "The transfer window is a club issue. I have been in football for a long time, I know the limit of the role of the coach, the president, the communication director and that everyone does their job.

"You have to stop with the coach, leave him alone, talk to him about the technical side of the team. The transfer window is a question of opportunity. This group there, for me, it is complete.

"What is also positive is that we managed to play in Ligue 1 two young kids, [Adil] Aouchiche and [Tanguy] Kouassi and that is nice. In addition I think that these are two players who will complement the workforce with their qualities."

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