Was Neymar to blame for PSG defeat?

Neymar could finally be heading back to Barcelona.

He may not have even been playing, but was Neymar to blame for Paris Saint-Germain’s shock 2-1 defeat against Rennes on Sunday?

PSG have dominated Ligue 1 in recent seasons, but, following the surprise defeat, you could argue that the whole circus that surrounds the Brazilian is having an unsettling effect on the squad.

Fellow Brazilian Thiago Silva suggested as much after the game when saying it is ‘hard’ for everyone concerned with the club, but he refused to use it as an excuse for the defeat and preferred to praise Rennes, who have now kicked off with back-to-back wins.

For some the closure of the transfer window could not come soon enough and it looks like being a busy couple of weeks for the Parisians with comings and goings before September 2, but no doubt Neymar remains the main talking point.

If the Brazilian is having an unsettling affect now, imagine how it will be for the remainder of the season if PSG fail to move him on before the deadline passes.

He clearly doesn’t want to be in Paris and is not the kind of player to knuckle down and put the disappointment of a failed move away behind him. Hence, coach Thomas Tuchel’s urgency to get him out of the exit door.

Tuchel has said Neymar will not be allowed to leave unless they can get a replacement in first and the latest suggests that player could be Juventus forward Paulo Dybala, although it could be easier said than done.

The Argentina star has already failed to agree a move to Manchester United or Tottenham and it remains to be seen if PSG could land him. Image rights appear to have been the problem with his proposed move to England and PSG would also have to stump as much as £73million in the way of a transfer fee.

Philippe Coutinho of Barcelona had been heavily linked with a move but the Brazilian has arrived in Munich with a view to joining Bayern, meaning options are few and far between should PSG need to replace Neymar.

Another Brazilian, Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior, had been mentioned as part of swap deal involving Neymar, but Los Blancos have no intention of losing the 19-year-old and quickly poured cold water on such a deal happening.

There appear to be plenty of ifs, buts and maybes at the moment but Tuchel will want it all sorting asap so they can knuckle down and concentrate on the campaign ahead knowing they have a happy squad in place.