Following prolonged speculation about his future, Brazil superstar Neymar has failed to show up for the first day of pre-season training at Paris Saint-Germain.
Neymar's father has insisted the forward had charity commitments, and that was the reason he failed to turn up.
Sporting director of PSG, Leonardo in an extensive interview with Le Parisien, laid out the Neymar situation quite clearly. The club is adamant that it will take action against the player.
When Leonardo was asked what was the issue between the club and the player, the Brazilian said: "... he was not at the resumption of training. He had to arrive and he did not arrive. But he knew he had to be there. We will study the measures to be taken, as we would have done for all employees and we will do it."
However, Neymar's father told a different story to Fox News Brazil, saying, "We had commercial and institutional plans, five years ago the institute does these actions and we always need these actions every year. PSG, in the presence of President Nasser, even participated in these actions. I do not understand the reason for absurdity. We were annoyed, but the PSG was aware of this situation"
Leonardo appears to concede that commitments were made to other parties, if not PSG. "He made commitments to his institute and a sponsor. But these were not dates agreed with the club. However, he played his last game on June 6 (note: with the Brazilian selection against Qatar, a game in which he was injured ). The holidays were until July 8th. And there, he did not come."
Neymar's father though says the player will not return to PSG until July 15th. If a week is a long time in politics, in potential transfer sagas, it is an eternity. There has been speculation linking Neymar with a return to Barcelona.
Leonardo says there has been nothing concrete from the Catalans, saying: "We have not received any offers. But we had, it's true, very superficial contacts."
The PSG sporting director says he has spoken to Neymar and his entourage but concedes things can change day-to-day. Leonardo is patently unhappy at his compatriot's behaviour.
"When a player wants to leave a club, and I'm not talking about Neymar in particular, it's the normal life of football. Why should it be lived as a disgrace?
As if the club had failed to convince the player to stay. As if it was always the club's fault. And in the case of Neymar, who is late for the resumption of training, it will still be the responsibility of the club who has not managed this problem? No. If the player arrives late, it's his fault."