Kylian Mbappe and Neymar have patched up their differences at Paris Saint-Germain, but coach Christophe Galtier has not ruled out the prospect of a sensational departure before the transfer window closes.
Asked if Neymar could move on before the September 1 deadline, Galtier said it was highly unlikely but not completely out of the question.
The rift between Mbappe and Neymar was evident during PSG’s 5-2 Ligue 1 win over Montpellier last Saturday, with the pair appearing to disagree over penalties.
Mbappe missed an early free-kick but thought he would have a chance to make amends when PSG were awarded a second penalty, only for Neymar to take charge and make no mistake. It was clear that Neymar thought he was next, but Mbappe may have thought the onus rested on him.
That has led to suggestions of a rift between the star pair that could prove disruptive in the dressing room, with Mbappe looking primed to win any such tug-of-war after signing a three-year deal in May.
He later scored against Montpellier but refused to celebrate, to the frustration of a number of teammates.
Galtier said the matter was put to bed during training this week, saying: “It’s not a malaise. We’ve been making plans, we’ve been talking about what we need to say. I can confirm that in all honesty it’s been a good week with everyone. ” he is working hard to prepare well for the match against Lille.
“I was involved in every session this week and all the incidents from the Montpellier game were gone from the following day.
PSG face Lille on Sunday as Galtier returns to the club he led to the 2020-21 Ligue 1 title.
Galtier warned that his players need to show maturity when considering who should take free kicks and penalties.
“We have to show respect,” he said. “There are situations in matches where the coach is far away and my players have to show intelligence to know when they can give a gift to a teammate or make it easier for someone else to gain confidence with a penalty. ”
When the topic of Neymar and a possible departure came up at Friday’s press conference, Galtier didn’t completely close the door on the idea.
“There are always surprises in the transfer window,” the head coach said. “I haven’t heard anything about Neymar asking to leave. I see him training and working hard every day. He is performing well in the matches so far.
“It doesn’t feel like he’s ready. But a transfer window is a transfer window.”
For now, Neymar remains firmly in Galtiero’s plans and the coach plans to have Neymar, Mbappe, and Lionel Messi as a front three this season, the coach’s first campaign since joining from Nice.
If PSG are awarded a penalty in Lille on Sunday, there doesn’t seem to be any arguing over who takes it.
“Who will take the penalty?” Galtier said. “The players will recognize it.