The youngest and arguably most wily of tines in Barcelona’s attacking trident may be thinking about a departure from the Catalan club. Three high-profile clubs have expressed interest Neymar Jr as claimed by his agent Wagner Ribeiro.
Previously, Neymar was thought to be a lock for the Catalan club destined to continue the attack as Lionel Messi turns 29 this year and enters what is undoubtedly the later stages of his career. The biggest deterrence to offers was Neymar’s 157 million pound buy-out clause, but now his agent says three major clubs are willing to pay.
“Today there are three big clubs in the world who want to sign Neymar and pay the clause of 200 million euros to Barcelona,” Ribiero told a radio show.
“I can not say anything else because it is a sensitive subject.”
The three potential suitors in speculation would all need to not only have massive bank accounts, but seriously talented squad to generate an appealing offer for the young star.
The Red Devils have the funds to cover a buy-out clause of that magnitude and one other allure that other suitors cannot offer: the chance to play in the English Premier League. Consider one of the highest leagues in the sport there is no doubt that Neymar may have thoughts about what it would be like to play in a league of such a high caliber. After all, Pep Guardiola couldn’t stay away from the allure of the Premier League.
Further Jose Mourinho is nothing if he isn’t bold, and that may just tempt Neymar into a visit to Old Trafford to see the potential in a new home for himself. It’s hard to say if he’d be a good fit with United’s other big potential transfer: Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The french outfit is watching their superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic sail off with years of success at the club due to his offensive output. They’re not looking to fall in decline with the absence of Ibra, and Neymar would be able to hit the ground running so to speak.
Although the French league may not come with the same clout and recognition, Neymar would likely be ‘the man’ at PSG, much like Ibrahimovic was. Offensive play would revolve around putting him into position to score goals, a position he’s formerly had to share with the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. The move may give Neymar the chance to develop into a field general. Leading attacks rather than simply working in support would put pressure on him to produce even more consistently.
Listed last because it’s the least likely of the three suitors to actually land a transfer deal with Neymar is Los Blancos. While Real Madrid certainly have the money and level of talent that Neymar is used to playing with, a move to Real Madrid would make Neymar a traitor and mega-villain in the eyes of his former fans.
He would be enthusiastically booed at every El Clasico event and any time the two teams came up against each other in other competition. It’s hard to see Neymar choosing to put that strain on himself and take on the role of villain for any amount of money.
A Power Move
Whether he wants to leave the club or not is a contested issue. Speculation has grown as Neymar has continued to put off signing a new contract with the club that he could be unhappy. Despite the success of the team critics levy that Neymar is unsettled by the success of Luis Suarez, and unwilling to be considered ‘the third striker’.
Club president Josep Maria Baromeu had this to say about Barcelona saying good-bye to one of their stars:
“All our players are very happy with our club and our city because it is very pleasant to live there. The players are very happy to be in a club that wins. I’m not afraid because everyone is happy, nobody asked me to leave.”
What’s more likely is that Neymar is concerned with getting his fair share from the Catalan club. He is undoubtedly a producer on their team that they want for the long term, but currently he earns about half of what Lionel Messi earns.
Holding out on his contract while other clubs come calling is exactly what he needs to let Barcelona know that their new contract offer better have its money right.
Or the 24 year old Brazilian superstar may find himself elsewhere.