The leadership at Paris Saint-Germain will have to make several difficult decisions this summer. From player contracts to transfer business, the offseason may be as action-packed as the actual season.
One decision that has flown under the radar until now is the issue regarding Neymar Jr. suiting up for Brazil at the Tokyo Olympics (July 24 – August 9).
According to a report from Globoesporte (via ESPN), Rogerio Caboclo, the Brazil federation president, has opened a dialogue with PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi about allowing Neymar to be included in manager Andre Jardine’s squad to defend Brazil’s gold medal from the 2016 Olympics.
Technically, PSG does not have to release Neymar to Brazil for the Olympics because it is not an official FIFA date.
To complicate matters, Neymar has previously stated that he would like to participate in the Copa América, which concludes just 12 days before the start of the Olympics.
“I am willing to play at both the Copa América and the Olympics. However, I think it is a bit complicated—ask PSG,” Neymar said last January.
From PSG’s perspective, you can understand their hesitation at allowing him to play in two summer tournaments considering his injury history. Just last October, Neymar suffered a hamstring injury and was out of action for four weeks.
Neymar could use the Olympics as a bargaining chip. If he’s allowed to participate, he could agree to a contract extension with PSG. The same goes for Kylian Mbappé who wants to play in the Olympics and the UEFA Euro 2020 for France. The 21-year-old could agree to sign an extension if he’s given the freedom to represent his country whenever he wants.
Whether this is a good strategy for PSG going forward is another story. Ultimately, if Neymar and Mbappé can get PSG past Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League and perhaps further in the tournament, PSG may be more flexible with their superstars.
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