Neymar has ‘spat on the shirt’ of Paris Saint-Germain in trying to force a move away from the club, according to former winger Jerome Rothen.
Barca fans chanted his name as they watched their side labour to defeat at Athletic Club in the opening game of the Spanish season, while the PSG crowd made their displeasure with him clear during their recent win over Nimes.
“I have lots of people around me who liked him,” Rothen told Le Parisien. “I say it in the past tense because he has spat on the shirt and on those people who spend a good part of their salary on the season tickets that pay his wages.
"When he says that the best memory of his career is the comeback with Barcelona, which was the biggest disappointment in the history of PSG, it's disgusting.
“He will leave. The discussions are only dealing with the financial arrangements, the concessions. The best thing is for him to leave as soon as possible and move on. It will be a loss, because any team is stronger with Neymar than without.”
While Neymar might be leaving, his strike partner Kylian Mbappe has committed his future to the club – for this season, at least – and is set to shoulder more responsibility this year.
Still only 20, Mbappe will be the undisputed star in Paris once Neymar leaves his spot in the limelight. Rothen thinks Neymar’s exit could even prove to be a positive for the squad as a whole.
“PSG don’t suffer from a lack of talent, rather a lack of team cohesion,” he added. “So hopefully his departure will close their ranks.
“Mbappe must step up again this year and take control of the team. The departure of Neymar must allow PSG to build a very strong team. Especially if [Phillipe] Coutinho arrives.
“For PSG to take their place among the top clubs, the coach has to transmit the love of the club and the desire to fight.”
While PSG have been linked with Coutinho throughout the window, the former Liverpool man is set to join Bayern Munich on a season-long loan. His departure from Camp Nou could give Barca the breathing space in their squad and in their finances to reel Neymar back in.
Should the Parisians want to look elsewhere – Real Madrid duo James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale have been among the names mentioned – they have until September 2 to complete their transfer business for the summer.