Paris Saint-Germain’s billionaire owner, Nasser Al-Khelaifi is exhausted over the constant Neymar-to-Real Madrid speculation and has reportedly agreed to negotiate with the La Liga giants over a possible transfer. However, the Brazilian will only be allowed to leave in the summer if he manages to win the UEFA Champions League trophy this season.
One would think that the Sheikh is only entertaining such rumours to keep the media off his back but I would not go so far as to completely write his statements off. We are all aware of his ambitions to win the European trophy and the amount of money that he has invested over the cause.
While 9 of the 10 top earners in the Ligue 1 are from PSG, Neymar trumps them all deeming him to be the second richest footballer in the world, behind his former teammate, Lionel Messi. The Brazilian is reported to bank €36.8m in a year and is currently tied to the French side until the summer of 2022.
His future is pretty much tied to PSG for a long time until and unless the owner agrees to sell him for an astronomical transfer fee. Previous reports stated that Madrid had already set aside £356m for the Brazilian while Manchester United were looking to put in an improved offer of £444m.
These are obscene numbers for any football club on this planet and none of our forefathers would have imagined that a single player could double the valuation of the entire establishment. Such has the lengths of obsession stretched to for the European giants who would like nothing better than to get one over the other.
Granted, Neymar is a generational talent but in his 8 years of professional football what has he really achieved? The entire reason as to why he left Barcelona was to escape the long shadow cast by the 5 time Balon D’Or Winning Messi.
Neymar was expected to succeed the Argentine as the best player of the world while competing alongside him on the same team. After failing to do so, he has managed to delve into the, dare I say, easier and less competitive French league and struggled to make a mark against his biggest admirers last week.
The 26-year-old danced his way past the Madrid players without making a significant impact on the game. He often found himself hugging the pitch with agony rather than setting his teammates up or threatening Keylor Navas too much.
The defending European champions got the better of PSG with a 3-1 win at Santiago Bernabeu and the responsibility of making a comeback in the second leg will be heavily rested on Neymar’s shoulders. He has to match up to the occasion, not only to justify the obscene amounts of money that have been tied to his name but also to prove his intentions of making the switch back to Spain.
Florentino Perez is hell-bent on getting the Brazilian to the Bernabeu and is already setting up the tracks for his arrival. However, can he have a firm hand on the transfer after hearing Al-Khelaifi’s statements? It would be ludicrous to think that the club president would suggest his players to lose the next game against PSG in order to nudge the Neymar transfer further along.