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PSG president Al-Khelaifi hands control to Leonardo amid Neymar exit talk

By Opta
Neymar

Paris, June 17: Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi says he has handed control of all sporting decisions to Leonardo amid reports Neymar is for sale.

France's leading sports newspaper L'Equipe reported on Sunday (June 16) that Ligue 1 champions PSG will entertain offers for the Brazil superstar if a large enough bid comes in.

Neymar, ruled out of the Copa America by an ankle injury, was brought in from Barcelona two years ago for a world record €222million fee.

A return to Camp Nou has been mooted for the 27-year-old, who is also a long-time reported target of Barcelona's La Liga rivals Real Madrid.

PSG this week brought back Leonardo in the role of sporting director after he left a similar post at AC Milan, with the Brazilian replacing Antero Henrique in the role.

And speaking in a rare interview with France Football, Al-Khelaifi indicated he will no longer tolerate "celebrity behaviour" at PSG in what was widely interpreted as a veiled dig at Neymar.

He also confirmed Leonardo will have full control of sporting decisions after Henrique's move to banish Adrien Rabiot from PSG's squad over a contract dispute proved controversial.

"I realised that changes were essential, otherwise we were going nowhere," Al-Khelaifi said of the decision to reappoint Leonardo, who was PSG's sporting director between 2011 and 2013.

"In two minutes the case was settled between . He will have all the sporting powers. Leo is my guy. He is incredible. I have total confidence in him. His natural authority will do good for everyone, especially the players."

Thomas Tuchel's side retained their Ligue 1 crown last season but with Neymar again injured they lost in the last 16 of the Champions League, surrendering a first-leg lead against Manchester United.

They also failed to defend their Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France titles, but Tuchel has been rewarded with a new contract.

"Players will have to assume their responsibilities even more than before," Al-Khelaifi added. "It must be completely different.

"They will have to do more, work more. They are not there to please themselves. And if they do not agree, the doors are open. Ciao! I do not want to have any celebrity behaviour anymore."

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Story first published: Monday, June 17, 2019, 3:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 17, 2019
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