Manchester United’s supposed interest in Barcelona’s Neymar could be a ruse to establish interest ahead of a transfer in one or two years, according to BBC Sport’s Tim Vickery.
The journalist, speaking to talkSPORT, revealed that he believed there was absolutely no chance of said transfer going through this summer, but that the idea might be more feasible in the future if Neymar becomes frustrated behind Lionel Messi.
This is spite of reports suggesting that the Brazilian superstar is in line for a new Barca deal, with the Catalans keen to stamp out any speculation regarding the future of the 23-year-old.
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“Clearly it’s not going to happen now for a number of reasons,” said Vickery.
“Firstly, Barcelona have just sold Pedro. Secondly, they can’t buy anyone because they’ve still got this suspension hanging over them. But you just wonder if United are playing the long-term game here.
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“At the moment Neymar is very happy where he is but he’s in the shadow of Lionel Messi. That’s fine for now but if it’s still the case in one or two years’ time, he might want to go somewhere where he’s going to be the big number one.
“England is obviously a potential in a year or two years’ time. That’s the game I think United are playing - establishing an interest, making it clear that they really want this player and are prepared to play big money.”
If we’re being honest there was probably only a handful of fans who genuinely believed Neymar could be moving to Old Trafford this year.
Coming off of his best season to date - one that saw Barcelona win a famous treble - transferring to a United side in transition will have been well down his list of priorities.
That said, is it at all conceivable that he would one day consider leaving the Nou Camp if Messi continues as the de-facto messiah for the long-term future?
It can be assumed that Neymar’s ambition is to one day be the established ‘key man’ at a footballing superpower, whilst it’s also safe to predict that that specific title at Barcelona will remain under Messi’s remit until such a day as he retires or secures a record-breaking transfer away.
Possible future move?
With that in mind it could be a plausible argument that Neymar might seek a new stomping ground when he eventually hits his footballing prime.
With United still a club of extreme magnitude - and boasting lucrative financial resources - they shouldn’t be written off, although there is the alternative possibility that Barca are grooming the South American to pick up Messi’s crown when he sets it down.
United fans, do you think your club will ever have the chance to sign Neymar? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.