In an age where Kyle Walker is worth £50 million and Leonardo Bonucci is willing to swap Italy’s best team for its sixth-best side, we shouldn’t be overly surprised that transfer saga have reached new levels of craziness.
The latest is Brazilian international Neymar Jr. to Paris Saint-Germain. According to Brazilian outlet Esporte Interactivo, the Brazilian forward is ready to leave Camp Nou to sign for the French giants, who are prepared to pay his €222 million release clause.
Reports from Spain claim that he is desperate to emerge from Lionel Messi’s shadow, and the best way of doing that is by leaving the club.
PSG could offer Neymar more money, if that’s what he’s after. But playing for Barcelona is considered the pinnacle of any player’s career; signing for PSG would be considered a step down.
Who wouldn’t want Neymar in their ranks, a player who has bagged 105 goals and registered 59 assists in 186 games for Barcelona?
— Esporte Interativo (de ?) (@Esp_Interativo) July 18, 2017
However, the idea that the 25-year-old has agreed to sign for the French club requires more explanation.
He could be offer more money, if that’s what he’s after. But playing for Barca is considered he pinnacle of any player’s career; signing for a French club would be considered a step down.
Barça’s vice president, Jordi Cardoner, has insisted “200 per cent” that Neymar won’t leave the club, but his departure would present the Blaugrana with some pretty interesting options.
Ernesto Valverde would look to immediately reinvest the €222m in his team as Barca would want to take the La Liga crown from Real Madrid.
There are three top players they have been heavily linked with and the Brazilian’s sale would allow them to get the deals done.
The first is PSG’s Marco Verratti. And there’s every chance Valverde could complete moves for Ousmane Dembele and Paulinho if Neymar does leave.
But according to Neymar himself, that won’t happen.
The former Santos star has responded to the rumours linking him to PSG by insisting he is happy at Barça.
“The last one was my best season in Barcelona. I am very adapted to the city, the club and I am happy here. That is reflected on the performance of an athlete,” Neymar told Goalon Tuesday.
“It was the season where I felt more comfortable, even though we did not win the titles we would have wanted. We played great games and lived incredible moments.
“Now, we need to work for the 2017-18 season so it will be even more positive individually and as a group.”
That’s a pretty definitive response.