PSG boss Unai Emery hasn't spoken to Neymar in 'two or three weeks'
Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery has told Cadena Cope that Neymar has not called him since last weekend’s 7-1 thrashing of second-placed Monaco clinched the Ligue 1 title.
Brazil international Neymar, recovering from a foot injury, posted an Instagram picture that showed him playing poker with the match on a screen in the background — behaviour for which he was strongly criticised by France World Cup-winner Christophe Dugarry.
Asked whether Neymar had called or messaged him since PSG’s title-clinching victory on Sunday, Emery said no.
“I spoke with Neymar two or three weeks ago to see how he was and what idea he had of joining the group in training,” he said. “The players have a chat, so Neymar has direct communication with the players as well as the club and I.
“I have a very good relationship with Neymar. He is committed to the team, to Brazil and he is concerned about his recovery. Neymar is very eager to return and to play one game before the end of the season — that is what he told me when we chatted two weeks ago.”
Emery said he felt Neymar would stay at the Parc des Princes despite speculation linking him with a move away.
“I see Neymar in Paris, I honestly feel that — the union between him and PSG will continue,” he said.
“Neymar has it clear what he wants at an individual and collective level. We spoke about it at the beginning of the season with him and the president, and that project remains in place.
“Neymar is searching to have the maximum role at PSG, and PSG is searching to have a big starring role with Neymar’s aid. I would not understand a PSG without Neymar, and Neymar would not understand himself without PSG.”
He said it was “normal that top clubs are interested in him” and added: “He is considered to be, and is proving to be, among the best three players in the world. Of course, at some point, top clubs can knock on the door.”
Emery has been linked with a return to his old club Real Sociedad since PSG went out of the Champions League in the round-of-16 for the second season running, but said talks with his current club — where he is out of contract in the summer — would take place soon.
“I do not see myself as in or out [in the summer],” the 46-year-old added. “I think we have had a good season. I have been here for two years and I continue to work.
“When I sit down with the president and the club management to talk about the future, which we have not done yet, we will consider what is best for the club and for me.
“Against Real Madrid [in the Champions League], it was not to be. But the team reacted well — we have been consistent. We won the league title against Monaco. We will sit down in the short-term and discuss what the future is going to be.”
Emery stressed that he had not received an offer from Sociedad but said: “I was with Real Sociedad for 10 years. I always say that 50 percent of my heart is with the club.”
The coach will reach his second consecutive Coupe de France final if PSG beat Caen on Wednesday, with semi-professional Les Herbiers awaiting in the final.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.