Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani reportedly turned down a potential €1 million bonus to allow team-mate Neymar to take penalties.
According to El Pais, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was ready to offer the Uruguay striker an improved deal on the basis the Brazilian would be on set-piece duties and that Cavani finished the Ligue 1 season as the competition’s top goalscorer, but the PSG No. 9 turned down the offer.
El Pais reported there is an “atmosphere of tension” in the PSG dressing room between the South American superstars. Ben Grounds of MailOnline provided more details of what is included in the report.
“Cavani, according to El Pais, is not interested in being given extra money and is refusing to change his stance on being the penalty-taker, believing that as the club’s third captain in line, he has responsibilities he must shoulder,” Grounds wrote.
Spanish football journalist Colin Millar also relayed segments of the report, including suggestions Dani Alves held a “reconciliation” dinner that was akin to a “funeral”:
There has been a focus on Neymar and Cavani since a recent 2-0 win over Olympique Lyonnais, as the duo could be seen bickering over who should take a penalty. The latter got his way, but the pair had to be separated from one another in the dressing room after the match, according to L’Equipe.
The issue has been a major blemish on an otherwise positive spell for PSG. After all, there is so much excitement at the club following the summer acquisitions of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
PSG had started the 2017-18 campaign well, but they were disappointing on Saturday in the 0-0 draw against Montpellier HSC; Neymar sat out the match with a knock. As Jonathan Johnson of ESPN FC noted, it wasn’t the best day for Cavani.
While tension between big personalities is understandable in a competitive environment, the issue appears to have extended beyond a simple disagreement. Those in positions of power at the club will consequently be keen to smooth over any angst that lingers.
On the field, things have been positive for the pair, as they have showcased encouraging signs in terms of their linkup play. But for PSG supporters, the relationship between two of their star forwards represents a concern and something that will be focused on in the weeks to come.
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