Friday 25 May 2018

PSG deny offering Edinson Cavani €1m to relinquish penalty taking duties following row with team-mate Neymar

Paris Saint-Germain's Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani (L) and Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar
Paris Saint-Germain's Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani (L) and Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar

Jason Burt

Paris St-Germain have not offered Edinson Cavani a €1 million (£881,000) payment to surrender penalty duties to his new team-mate Neymar.

The claim was made in the Spanish newspaper El País with PSG’s offer said to have been snubbed by Cavani.

It is further claimed that the offer, alleged to have been made by PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, amounted to the bonus Cavani would normally receive if he finishes the season as the club’s top-scorer. The claims have been completely rejected by senior sources.

Indeed there is a clear sense at PSG that such reports are part of an attempt to de-stabilise the club following Neymar’s signing from Barcelona for a world-record fee and also the decision of Kylian Mbappé to join them rather than Real Madrid. Normally players of that status would play in or move to Spain.

PSG are keen to develop a new attacking triumvirate in world football through Neymar, Mbappé and Cavani – a successor to the ‘MSN’ (Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar at Barcelona) or the ‘BBC’ (Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid) – and this has unsettled Spain’s traditional domination.

There was a clear disagreement between Cavani and Neymar over who should take a penalty during PSG’s 2-0 win over Lyon on Sept 18. Cavani subsequently missed the spot-kick and later left the stadium without speaking while there was also a ‘bonding’ dinner later in the week organised by new signing Dani Alves.

PSG coach Unai Emery spoke to the whole squad and said he would decide who takes penalties in future. “There are two players able to take penalty kicks: Cavani and Neymar,” he said. “There will be, from now, the first shooter and the second one. I will let them know who is going to be the first one and who will be the second one. But there is also a responsibility level.

“It’s not the same thing when you’re winning 3-0 and when the score is 0-0. I didn’t speak only to Cavani and Neymar but the whole squad about the penalty issue.”

Neymar missed the goalless draw away to Montpellier at the weekend but is expected to be fit for PSG’s high-profile Champions League tie at home to Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

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