The suggestion that Neymar is getting restless in Ligue 1 was always going to appear one day.
But we expected it after three years, not three months.
As the player’s father admits a move to Real Madrid cannot be ruled out, Sportsmail asks whether the Brazilian’s Paris soap opera really is going to be a long-running saga, or just a mini-series.
There were always going to be suggestions that Neymar would get restless in Ligue 1
So let’s start there: mini-series or long-running saga?
‘He has a long contract with PSG and he has only just arrived,’ Neymar Snr told Fox Sports this week. So if by mini-series you mean just one season that seems unlikely.
If Cavani starts putting shaving foam in his sneakers and Unai Emery tells him he can’t take any more free-kicks then maybe he’ll storm out at the end of the season but it’s far more likely that he’ll stay beyond Emery and Cavani.
Neymar is likely to stay at PSG for longer than manager Unai Emery and Edinson Cavani
So he’s still at odds with those two?
Things have been smoothed over with Cavani. And as a front three, along with Mbappe, they are averaging 3.3 goals a game in Ligue 1 and 4.8 in Europe.
But Cavani is playing so well that offers will come in for him in the summer and PSG might sell to buy a forward more inclined to accept the Neymar hierarchy.
Emery and Neymar’s relationship has also recovered. The coach is smart enough to know he has to handle his No 10 with care and Neymar has a working respect for Emery.
But if PSG don’t win or come close to winning the Champions League it obviously will not be Neymar’s fault, it will be Emery’s.
Neymar has had very public problems with his attacking partner Cavani while at PSG
But the relationship between the two players has improved and they are more settled
And if there were to be a new Neymar-approved coach and new attacking partner then that would increase the chances of him staying into the 2018-19 season…
Either it goes incredibly well this season, or it doesn’t and changes that he is in favour of are made and he stays anyway.
But all the same, for someone who plans to stay there is an awful lot of noise about the possibility of a move at some point. Did Neymar Sr. really open the door to Madrid when speaking with Fox?
He certainly didn’t close it. Asked about the possibility he said: ‘Things change a lot. Today that thought does not exist and if I respond then it will only feed something that is not really possible.
‘I cannot talk about negotiations that are five or six years away.’
Neymar’s dad did not deny the possibility of a move from the Parc des Princes in the future
So he’s talking about five years from now… that’s hardly a ‘come and get me’ plea!
No, but the stories about Neymar not having settled in well have come from some of the best informed journalists during his transfer last summer.
These are people that are close to the Neymar.
The stories about him insisting on not being kicked in training, being exempt from tracking back in games and having his own wash bag instead of the team one… they all seemed a little fanciful, could he really be so demanding?
We all saw the footage of the penalty with Cavani. We know there is a petulance there sometimes.
But there is also a desire among some of the media covering PSG to make the most of any rumblings and of course in Catalonia they are only to happy to feed off those stories.
They will be delighted if Neymar fails in France.
There is a desire among some of the media to make the most of any minor problems
But he has been back to see his old Barca team-mates already and there was a suggestion he asked them: ‘Would you take me back?’
If it was said it then it was said in jest. Of all the possibilities, a return is the least viable.
And Luis Suarez suggested after that flying visit from his old team-mate that Neymar was content and that if he were not he would say so himself.
Although he was less than open about his desire to leave last summer so maybe that’s not the greatest reference.
A return to Barcelona is among the least likely options for the future for Neymar
But the stories about him regretting moving were never vigorously denied…
Whenever there are stories about him being unsettled it’s never high up his agenda to shoot them down because speculation that he could leave one day keeps PSG on their toes about making sure he’s happy.
And he did walk abruptly away from a mixed-zone interview after a recent Celtic game after being asked about Madrid’s interest.
And he cried in a press conference?
Well he bowed his head and covered his eyes yes. But that was more a reaction to his national coach – sat alongside him – saying nice things about him.
It’s going well on the pitch at least…
PSG were name-checked by Messi as potential Champions League winners – along with City – and they will have the domestic title wrapped up before the Christmas presents so yes!
Neymar and PSG have been earmarked as possible Champions League winners by Lionel Messi
Boredom could be the trigger to move him on…
The Champions League challenge, the World Cup, seeing how many flying visits to London’s west-end he can make without it affecting his form… he’s not going to get bored just yet.
But it is clear he will leave at some point?
Yes. No one at PSG is going to have to organise any Neymar Testimonial games, that’s for sure.
His dad told Fox Sports: ‘I don’t think he’ll leave Europe in the next eight years’. There is clearly a plan to have another huge European move before his career ends.
It could be Madrid or it could be the Premier League. Or it could be both. Why not? There is plenty of time.
Neymar Snr is an expert at leaving an escape route in his son’s contract at clubs
And it will be easy to get himself away from PSG?
Officially there is no buy-out clause. But Neymar Sr. is a master at leaving plenty of escape routes in his son’s contract.
New Arsenal signings supremo Raul Sanllehi was the man in charge of Neymar’s last contract at Barcelona.
He wanted to add a €300m buy-out but Neymar’s dad refused. El Mundo Deportivo said this week that Sanllehi threw the slightly random €222m buy out figure at him and he accepted it. It was better than the buy-out being left at €200m. Neymar will not be trapped at PSG.
His dad will have made sure of that.
But it would still probably take another world record transfer. Who could pay it?
United, City, Real Madrid?
Real Madrid would be keen to bring Neymar to the club after missing out on him in 2011
And he would go to Madrid?
In a heartbeat if it was the right move. Ronaldo played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid and there is no reason why he will not do the same.
His loyalty is to his family and to the close group of friends – the ‘toiss’ – that moved to Barcelona with him and are currently enjoying Paris. It would not be a ‘pig’s head’ transfer.
He would not be going directly from one club to the other. Barca fans have already fallen out of love with him so there is no admiration to be lost.
And it wouldn’t be a problem for Madrid?
No. In fact it would be Florentino Perez saying: ‘Look I’ve finally got my man’. He missed out in 2011.
To finally bring him to the Bernabeu would be a major success. He would take him on an open top bus ride through the city probably.
But to say that is already planned for the end of the season does an injustice to PSG. They are big players and want to win the Champions League.
They have not bought Neymar just to be his bridge to Madrid.