Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Brazilian Superstar’s Move To Real Madrid Could Be Aided By Sportswear Giants: Story To Fill The Pages?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

According to latest reports, Neymar’s transfer to Real Madrid has taken a new twist which could either fuel the progression of the deal or be ruled out as bogus. The sports apparel company, Nike have come up with a business proposition, which will see them agree to a sponsorship deal with the Los Blancos while they themselves pay a part of the transfer fee for the Brazilian magician.

Madrid president, Florentino Perez has been quite open with his intentions to sign Neymar in the next summer window by offloading a few of his current players. A £355m bid is reportedly being prepared to get the man who just last summer was priced at £198m.

The financial limits of player transactions have come to obscene lengths over the past couple of years. One may tie it to the heavy influx of money from Chinese Super League clubs who are offering players from European sides astronomical amounts of wages. On the other hand, it can be attributed to the transfers of Gareth Bale and Paul Pogba, who broke the transfer record of Cristiano Ronaldo in quick successions.

However, the real question lies in whether Real Madrid and Nike will be able to pull this off without raising concerns about financial fair play. The Spanish giants are already under contract with Nike’s commercial rival, Adidas till 2024.

The £850m deal was signed in 2015 which ensures a £59m remuneration after every season for the 10-year period. Barcelona have a similar deal in place with Nike themselves till 2023 but the Catalan side will bank £140m a year. That is a significant payment hike which currently is the most expensive in world football.

Madrid would like to be offered a similar deal as their bitter rivals but can the contract be broken midway? We are not privy to any of the business negotiations that take place behind the curtains and can only work on assumptions.

For instance, if the deal is executed successfully how will Neymar fit in? The entire reason for the club switch midway through his contract with Barcelona was to escape the shadows of Lionel Messi.

The 26-year-old wanted to establish himself as a lone figure in the same realms of Messi and Ronaldo. But after a season of low success on the European stage, he will have to start questioning his immediate future with the Ligue 1 side. After all, a player only becomes the best, when his career is laden with major honours.

If Neymar arrives at Santiago Bernabeu, will it imply a possible club exit for Ronaldo? Both of them play in the same position even if their style of play is significantly different. Coexistence might be challenging and the Madrid board will have to pick either of the two.

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