With Lionel Messi's contract demands at FC Barcelona having been leaked this week, new details into Neymar's abrupt 2017 departure from the Spanish giants have now reportedly emerged.
The Brazilian's exit from Barca at the time came as a surprise to many when the player left the club during Barca's pre-season tour of the United States.
Paris Saint-Germain had triggered his release clause in that window, paying a record-breaking €222 million (R3.8 billion) for his services, which still remains the highest transfer fee ever paid five years later.
There was much speculation as to why the former Santos prodigy would leave the Blaugrana after enjoying a glittering four years at the Camp Nou that also saw him win nine major titles, including the UEFA Champions League trophy.
Some believed the transfer was motivated by money, while others have suggested the attacker left the LaLiga giants because he wanted to escape from under Lionel Messi's shadow and potentially have a better chance of winning the Ballon d'Or.
However, leaked emails of former Barca director Raul Sanllehi, who was tasked by the club to convince Neymar to stay at the time, seemingly detail a clearer picture as to why the South American parted ways with the side.
According to El Mundo, Sanllehi was convinced the then-25-year-old's father Neymar Sr wanted his son to stay at the Camp Nou until details of a signing-on bonus the Catalans had promised were made public.
KICKOFF has moved to a new online stadium, SNL24.com! Register on SNL24.com to get the full functionality of the website, including the ability to comment on stories, save articles for later, access weather and traffic alerts for your area, and subscribe to newsletters!
"I have been with this man for hours and hours and I think I know him well enough to know when he is bluffing and when he is telling the truth. In this case I am absolutely convinced, he has shown me, that he was on our side," the ex-director said of Neymar Sr in one of the emails, per El Mundo.
"The problem is all in Neymar's head. The kid is going through things. He has many personal problems, and he's confused and vulnerable. He thinks that leaving Barcelona would also leave his problems, when it's the opposite.
"I have spoken directly with him, repeatedly, I have made him cry more than once, and he has admitted to me on more than one occasion that he was lost."
After the €64 million (R1.1 billion) signing bonus was leaked to the press, Neymar Sr reportedly changed his tune and demanded that Barca settle the payment, which the club refused to do, essentially leading to Neymar's exit.
"I don't trust you, you have lied to me," Neymar Sr wrote in an email to the five-time European champions after the details of the bonus were leaked, per El Mundo.
"First [ex-Barcelona president Sandro] Rosell abandoned me, then Barto [former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who took office after Rosell] not reaching a plea deal, and now the leak of the loyalty bonus.
"If I don’t receive it today, I can legally release the contract, and you won't get €222 million."
You must be SIGNED IN to read and post comments.
Click here to register: https://www.snl24.com/auth/signin