The Brazilian and Unzue had a heated discussion last Thursday in front of the whole squad, with Barca’s assistant coach questioning Neymar’s focus, and used Ronaldinho as an example of a player whose performance suffered due to his lifestyle away from the pitch.
Neymar wasn’t impressed with the comparison, and reportedly said “If he stays, I’m leaving,” referring to the possibility of Unzue replacing Luis Enrique as coach.
The report further goes on to say that these words from Neymar made it’s way to the Barca board, who are against the idea of allowing the 25-year-old to leave Nou Camp anytime soon.
Neymar has been generating a lot of interest from Premier League clubs, as Manchester United and Chelsea had reportedly contacted him last month about a potential transfer this summer. The Red Devils are even willing to pay Neymar’s £200 million release clause if they receive assurances that the Brazilian will accept market level wages.
Unzue is in line to take over from Luis Enrique, as Barcelona’s sporting director Roberto Fernandez continues his search for a top-level manager. However, there is no denying that the incident with Neymar would surely dent Unzue’s chances of becoming the Barca coach next season.
The Austrian is highly recognised in the dressing room as the man behind the 3-4-3 system, which proved effective in the Champions League against PSG, but also contributed to the exit against Juventus. The assistant coach is also responsible for set plays, but Barca haven’t been as strong in this department as before.
Written by Pragadeesh Shanmugam