The rumours linking Neymar with a move to Real Madrid are seemingly endless.
Spanish newspaper El Confidencial have become the latest to link the parties, reporting that Neymar has held two meetings with Madrid officials.
And Barca might have little option but to sell their Brazilian star due to a crippling financial situation.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay4
El Confidencial claim that Neymar met with Los Blancos twice in the space of a month. The first meeting occurred in December, the second in Zurich at the Ballon d’Or ceremony.
Neymar’s father reportedly told Madrid officials that his son wouldn’t mind wearing Madrid’s famous white shirt.
This is all speculation, of course, but throw in Barcelona’s financial situation and there are some who think the Catalan club might be forced into selling the 24-year-old.
They are yet to organise a sponsor for next season and are in the process of renovating the Camp Nou. With Neymar and Sergio Busquets both eager to sign new deals - neither of which will come cheap - it’s likely that cuts will be made.
Neymar currently earns £77,000-a-week. It’s no surprise he wants an improvement on that considering he was voted the world’s third-best player in January.
Barcelona are planning for Neymar's exit
Spanish football expert Guillem Balague admitted that Barcelona are “preparing” for Neymar’s departure, if their hand is forced.
In a Q&A with Sky Sports, the Balague wrote: “Is the club trying to put Neymar for sale? Not fully, but they are preparing the way in case they have to. The player's side has got a clear timing. His contract will be renewed, they say, at some point this year.
“But the club is scared that might take the debt to new highs. He has flirted with the Premier League, but he wants to stay.”
Barcelona know that the incredible feats of their ‘MSN’ strike force will soon hurt their wallet. Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez have combined to score 122 goals this season and that sort of return doesn’t come cheap.
Balague added: “Without a sponsor they cannot realistically afford the renewal of Neymar, plus the consequent ones of Messi and then Luis Suarez.”
Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia recently reported that Barcelona are concerned with the Brazilian’s hectic lifestyle, which includes “trips, parties, inadvisable schedules, and recording adverts.”
The claim apparently frustrated Barcelona, who crashed out of the Champions League this month and have been caught up by Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in La Liga.
Balague continued: “It seems the club was not fully unhappy that the papers have suggested Neymar's lifestyle is not ideal for an elite player and some of his teammates are not happy with that.”