Let’s be honest here, Barcelona and Neymar was always a match made in heaven.
The Brazilian, despite taking a year to adjust, has taken to life at the Nou Camp in superb fashion. As part of the world’s most formidable strike force, he has found the net countless times and showcased some of his finest skills.
Nevertheless, there were rumours this summer that Paris Saint-Germain were hoping to snatch the 24-year-old from the Catalans. In addition, it’s become apparent that the move was closer to completion than previously thought.
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It’s no secret that PSG are bolstered by formidable financial brawn, but a player with a release clause of £170 million seems a bit extreme, even for them, right?
After all, it would take the current transfer world record and nearly double it. Paul Pogba would look like the most expensive bargain of all time.
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However, according to L’Equipe, the Parisians were more than willing to break the bank and meet Neymar’s clause. Moreover, the same report suggests the French champions would match the Brazilian’s annual £22 million salary.
The deal breaker though, came in the form of Neymar’s outstanding debts. One of the demands in the deal was for PSG to settle the £40 million, which the 24-year-old owed.
You’d think, given the proposed transfer fee that this would just be pittance for the Parc des Princes side, but it ultimately proved a financial bridge too far.
Nevertheless, even if PSG had pulled their finger out and settled Neymar’s debts, it’s not entirely clear whether the man himself would have wanted to leave Barcelona.
The ex-Santos forward has enjoyed a lucratively successful spell in Spain and has no clear motive to want to leave.
In 151 appearances, the Brazilian has amassed an impressive 91 goals and has a Champions League trophy to show for it. Furthermore, he has the regular pleasure of playing with stars such as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
Angel di Maria and Edinson Cavani are also world-class players, but they don’t truly compare.
This was a view substantiated by Neymar’s agent, Wayne Ribeiro, who explained this summer: “He was very close to PSG. He would have earned €40m [£33.8] a year, free [after tax]. Neymar was also close to a move to Manchester United. But he renewed his contract for less money with Barcelona, because he wanted to stay in Barcelona.”
Therefore, it goes to show that even one of the richest clubs in the world can’t handpick the finest players. PSG may have a brilliant squad, but they just don’t wield the prestige, history and fans that Barca do.
That being said, with a dispensable £170 million on their hands, it’s fair to say PSG have the currency to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Neymar won’t be the man to do so though.
Do you think Neymar was right to stay at Barcelona this summer? Have YOUR say in the comment box below