After Cristiano Ronaldo dominated the early parts of the summer news with his apparent wish to leave Real Madrid, it is now the turn of Neymar to be the subject of rumours and reports since a Brazilian TV channel broke with the story that the 25-year-old is ready to join PSG.
The report could very well be true – as the Ronaldo one could have been – but like the Portuguese player his club can still persuade him to stay, whether it be with a new contract or other promises. This could simply be an attention-seeking ploy: as a player of such immense ability, Neymar wants to be the main man in any team he plays in and he has not had the smoothest of times in Barcelona with the controversy that came with his transfer and the uncertainty over the amount of money that was actually paid by the Catalans.
One wonders, though, if the Brazilian can achieve his goals in Spain. He wants to be the best player in the world, and whilst playing in the same team as a certain Lionel Messi that is going to be a very difficult task. At this point in his career, perhaps Neymar needs to make his own way at a club where the team will evolve around him and without doubt, that would be the case in Paris.
Another thing that appeals to Neymar is the fact that PSG have a large Brazilian contingent in Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Lucas Moura and the recently joined Dani Alves, who is a bigger factor. The pair are very close from their time spent together when Alves played for Barca and with a large group of compatriots playing for the Parisians, there should be no issues settling in.
So why would Barca consider selling a player who is probably going to lift the Ballon d’Or one day? Well, first of all, if PSG offer the full €222m of the Brazilian’s release clause, the ball is in their court and the club and player can commence talks.
It is also not a secret that the Blaugrana want PSG’s Italian midfielder Marco Verratti. Despite the fact that former Barca President Joan Gaspart has described the French club’s pursuit of Neymar as ‘revenge’ for the way the Catalans approached Verratti, they would certainly go back in for the 24-year-old if Neymar was to leave. Then again, the former Pescara man staying is reportedly one of the reasons for the Brazilian coming as he sees an exciting project in Paris. Can you see why this might turn into the saga of the summer?
After a slightly disappointing campaign last time around, it might be that Barca have realised they need to make their midfield among the best in the world once again in order to succeed and Verratti would do that, but without the funds from the former Santos player’s transfer it might not be possible.
Tuesday’s report from Brazil has triggered a story that will take so many twists and turns before the transfer is either completed or called off. Anybody else looking forward for the new season to start?