Just when you thought the transfer window couldn’t get any crazier, Neymar is on the brink of a £196 million move to Paris Saint Germain.
And that’s before you consider the eyewatering wages PSG will fork out for the Brazilian. Even after taxes, the 25-year-old is poised to earn more than even Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
That being said, it is for those very financial reasons that the Parisians have emerged as the sole suitors for the Barcelona star. Since day one, it seems it was either a question of the Parc des Princes or remaining at the Nou Camp.
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That is, of course, in spite of Neymar’s complicated history with the Premier League. It’s no secret that Manchester United have been interested in his signature for the last few years.
Moreover, Sky Sports’ Bryan Swanson has confirmed that the Red Devils were ‘close’ to a world record deal for the forward last year.
Fears Neymar was playing-up for a new contract, as per the Independent, were all that stopped them from launching another bid this summer, too.
However, with the 25-year-old having agreed a five-year deal with PSG, Premier League fans will have to kiss goodbye to their hopes of seeing Neymar on English shores. United aren’t the only team letting the side down, though.
West Ham United came even closer than their Old Trafford rivals when it comes to capturing Neymar and yes, you read that right. The Hammers launched a bid for the Barcelona star back in 2010.
As retold by the Mirror, the club lodged a £12 million for the then 18-year-old but saw their approach rejected by Santos.
The Brazilian club were holding out for their asking price and release clause of £28.4 million. West Ham were unwilling to up their offer and the convenience of hindsight renders it a decision dogged by regret.
His release clause would have seemed weighty for a relatively unknown 18-year-old but stands at a mere seventh of the fee PSG are about to shed. Then again, the thought of Neymar progressing to stardom under Avram Grant is certainly an interesting one.
But, as the case would have been if he had left in 2010, Neymar faces great pressure to perform upon his impending move. For all his achievements already, he has a dizzying price tag on his back and Ballon d’Or hopes to tackle.
Meanwhile, the Hammers can at least delight in their bargain capture of Javier Hernandez this summer. Just think, though: Neymar and Andy Carroll up top – the stuff of dreams.
Do you think Neymar is making the right decision for his career? Let us know by leaving a comment below.