Kylian Mbappe sends strong PSG message as fresh Neymar feud threatens dressing room
Kylian Mbappe has urged his Paris Saint-Germain teammates to “stay strong and united” after Neymar was involved in a heated dressing room clash on Saturday.
PSG’s domestic slump of form continued on Saturday with a limp 3-1 loss at Monaco in Ligue 1, leading to Neymar reportedly being highly critical of teammates Vitinha and Hugo Ekitike. It is also claimed that Neymar and club captain Marquinhos clashed with Luis Campos, who plays an influential role at the club.
It is the latest indication of a fractured dressing room, coming in the aftermath of defender Presnel Kimpembe confirming he was “not made aware” of Mbappe having replaced him as the club’s vice-captain at the start of the campaign.
The decision to instil Mbappe as vice-captain also notably overlooked Lionel Messi for the role – the Argentine had captained Barcelona for three seasons but does not hold similar status in Paris. Mbappe directed one of his goal celebrations in the World Cup final in front of Messi, hinting at heightened tensions between the two.
The latest developments of Neymar’s displeasure with two of his teammate come amid the Brazilian’s reported ongoing reported feud with attacking teammate Mbappe. The superstar duo fell out over the order of penalty-takers earlier this season in a Ligue 1 clash.
Former Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos was reportedly forced to step in to separate the feuding pair and boss Christophe Galtier staged a first-team meeting in which the two were rebuked. However, it increasingly appears to be an uneasy relationship with short-term measures to limit any fallout.
Mbappe – who missed the game through injury – posted an update to his Instagram stories following Saturday’s loss at Monaco, with the image of the PSG badge alongside the message: “Let’s stay strong and united.” That this coincided with reports of the latest tense dressing room episode appears unlikely to be just coincidental.
Mbappe recently refused to commit his future to PSG following suggestions of an exit. “For now, a second World Cup,” the France international said in November when quizzed over his alleged transfer request. “After that, I don’t know.” He has yet to provide an update on his future but the dressing room at the Parc des Princes appears to be far from a settled, happy one.
PSG are also having problems on the pitch, with just 10 points from their last seven league matches and having crashed out of the Coupe de France with defeat at Marseille last week. Galtier’s side now face a potentially season-defining Champions League Round of 16 tie against Bayern Munich this week.
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