Kylian Mbappe has revealed one of the reasons behind getting on well with Neymar even when a number of players have struggled to get to grips with the Brazilian. Edinson Cavani, in particular, was not too fond of Neymar’s arrival to the Parc des Princes.
Even though Mbappe came to PSG almost at the same time as Neymar, the French youngster quickly made it clear that he did not intend to challenge the Brazilian superstar. According to France Football, Mbappe said:
“When I arrived in Paris, this was not even a debate. Neymar was the superstar.
“In my first training session with PSG I said to him: ‘Don’t worry, I won’t be stepping on your toes here. I’m going to fight for the Ballon d’Or this year because you’re not in the race. ‘But I assure you that I don’t want to take your place, you can keep it. I’m always here to help you’.”
Mbappe made the switch to PSG on a loan deal in 2017 before making the move permanent a year later. The transfer fee was rumoured to be around £160 million. However, Neymar had just smashed the transfer record with a whopping £198 million switch from Barcelona. The Brazilian had clearly made the switch to PSG expecting to win the Ballon d’Or award.
Meanwhile, the clashes between Neymar and Cavani were infamous. The duo never got on with each other and there was even a squabble on the pitch. Several more have been reported by the media over the years.
It appears that the confrontation between the pair is about to come to an end. Cavani has reportedly agreed a free transfer to Atletico Madrid when his contract runs out in the summer. After having been on the sidelines more often than not this season, Cavani is likely to speed up his departure from the club. The move could come as early as in January.
Even if Mbappe has spoken in glowing terms of Neymar, the duo may not remain at PSG for much longer. The former has been linked with a move to Real Madrid where Zinedine Zidane is keen on bringing his international compatriot. The summer signings have not worked out well for the Los Blancos and they showed a lot of interest in signing Neymar in the summer. Even though Mbappe remains on course to becoming a PSG superstar even at this young age, the prospect of playing for Real Madrid – under Zinedine Zidane – will remain a huge draw. However, it may take well beyond £200 million to secure his signing and Madrid may not have the cash to pull off such a massive transfer.
Neymar remains keen on a return to Barcelona. The striker went to great lengths to make the transfer possible. The waning powers of Lionel Messi give him a great motivation to consider a return to the Camp Nou and become the sole superstar in the team.
Even though Mbappe was in high praise of Neymar, there is little denial from Neymar’s camp that the Frenchman has become the essence of PSG’s strike force. This season, the 21-year-old has scored 19 goals in all competitions. Neymar has come up with 12 goals, but he has had participated in very few PSG goals compared to Mbappe. Injuries have restricted Neymar to just 12 appearances, but this is the second successive campaign in which the youngster has overshadowed the superstar.
This consistent drop in performances has seen Neymar’s value drop behind Mbappe on transfermrkt.