Manchester United have disposed of some quality players this season in Bastian Schweinsteiger, Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin, of which they are yet to get a potent replacement. And with bigger names like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney with a chance to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season, some heavyweights are expected to come in.
According to reports, Manchester United have their sights on Barcelona superstar Neymar when fan favourite Rooney leaves. And given the stardom the Brazilian enjoys with the Catalans, it will be difficult to see the deal through in the coming summer.
United manager Mourinho is well aware of the fact, as was evident from the statement he recently told ESPN Brasil: ‘I always try to be objective and pragmatic with the clubs and ask the clubs for what can be given to me. Neymar is absurd. A club like Barcelona cannot and will not lose Neymar. We will not break into the vault. I think it is impossible.’
Scoring hasn’t been one of United’s biggest strength this season and Rooney’s repeated absence owing to injuries have further exacerbated it. Rooney could make only 19 appearances this season in which he has managed only 2 goals so far.
One of the best strikers in the Premier League once, Rooney relied mostly on his aggression, something Mourinho would have badly needed this season. He seems to have run out of fuel now and Mourinho looks pretty sure that the 31-year-old’s time is up at Old Trafford. However, Neymar will never be the ideal replacement for the English forward.
The 25-year-old’s style of play includes sublime dribbling skills and brilliant technique, and would never be the prolific goal scorer in England that Rooney was. He would rather be an effective number 10, who could create chances. He has registered 24 assists this season for Barca in 38 outings in all competitions. A left winger by nature, Neymar can play through the middle, as a centre forward and also on the right wing.
Having one of the most lethal right foot in the business, Neymar can pick the back of the net from any distance. Since joining the Catalans back in 2013, Neymar has scored 100 goals and made 77 assists in 178 appearances. An early bloomer, Neymar broke into the national team as early as in 2010, scoring 52 goals in 77 outings.
According to Daily Star, Neymar is rated at a staggering £173million and although United are capable of paying it, there are little to no chances that Barcelona would sell their prized asset. His contract with Barcelona runs still 2021.
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