Neymar is on his way back to Paris for showdown talks with PSG after they claimed he had not returned for pre-season training on time.
The Brazilian, who on Saturday risked the wrath of his employers by playing in a series of five-a-side matches in his hometown of Praia Grande, was spotted at Sao Paulo airport on Sunday afternoon. He appeared to be heading to catch an Air France flight to the French capital, but still stopped to take pictures with fans despite take-off being scheduled for less than 20 minutes later.
Neymar is desperate for a return to Barcelona – the club he left in a world record £198million deal two years ago – this summer. PSG chief Leonardo this week admitted that initial contact with Barca over a sensational move had been made, although he also claimed that the Spanish giants did not appear to be in a position to afford Neymar.
Last Monday the Ligue 1 champions released a statement slamming Neymar’s ‘deplorable’ behavior after he failed to show up for pre-season fitness tests in Paris. The star’s camp remains adamant, however, that the club knew he would be staying in Brazil in order to attend the world finals of Red Bull Neymar Jnr’s Five – a global five-a-side tournament which he hosts at his own institute each summer.
Despite missing the entirety of Brazil’s successful Copa America campaign with an ankle injury, Neymar pulled on his boots to play three exhibition matches on Saturday afternoon.
He claimed he is now 100 percent fit during the event and is now expected to link up with his team-mates on Monday, despite continued speculation over his future.
Barca remains interested in bringing Neymar back to Spain, although the task became more difficult after they splashed out £108million on Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann.
It is believed the club would need to sell Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele in order to finance a deal for the former Santos star, who is likely to cost around £200m.