Transfer rumor buy or sell: Neymar headed to PSG after agreeing to proposal?
One report out of Brazil reports that Neymar has agreed to a deal, but there is more to the story
Neymar to PSG rumors have resurfaced just ahead of the season beginning. We break it down for you in Buy or Sell.
Rumor: AS in Spain reports that Neymar is in contact with Paris Saint-Germain, adding that the player's father is going to meet with club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi this week about a move. In addition, Esporte Interativo in Brazil claims on Tuesday that Neymar has accepted PSG's proposal and that a deal should be completed soon.
Why it could be true: The player has been linked with PSG for the last couple seasons and could make a move and become the face of the club instead of being behind other players at Barca, seeing it as a change for more individual recognition. He has faced and is very much in the shadow of Lionel Messi, as much as the two do appear to get along.
There is also the matter of his contract at Barcelona, and whether or not he is underpaid -- which many would agree seems to be the case.
Neymar's salary is reported to be about €15 million a year, which is well below the totals earned annually by Messi and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Why it could be false: He forms part of the most lethal goal-scoring trio in the world at Barcelona with friends Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. He gets along with them just well and should be the face of Barcelona when Suarez and Messi retire. And you know him and Messi are tight as Neymar got an invite to the Argentine's recent wedding.
But he did travel to the wedding with defender Dani Alves, formerly of Barca and Juventus and of course his teammate on the Brazil national team. Alves just signed with PSG, and AS says that relationship with Alves could play a part in possibly joining the French club. The Spanish report also says Neymar wants to be the leader of a "great project," and PSG wanting to win the Champions League would fall under that.
As for the report out of Brazil, even if it is true, Barcelona would likely need to be on board with all of this. While there is reported to be a release clause in Ney's contract of over $200 million, it would not be the first time such a clause was outright ignored.
Back in 2013, Arsenal attempted to activate a £40-million clause to acquire Luis Suarez from Liverpool by infamously making an offer of £40,000,001 only to have Liverpool refuse to sell. Principal owner John W. Henry, who also owns the Boston Red Sox, went on to admit that there was such a trigger in the contract, but that he simply chose ignore it, saying that he figured out the rules in world soccer are very erratic and hard to enforce.
Keep this in mind from what Henry said back in 2014:
But what we've found over the years is that contracts don't seem to mean a lot in England -- actually not in England, in world football. It doesn't matter how long a player's contract is, he can decide he's leaving. ... Since apparently these contracts don't seem to hold, we took the position we're just not selling.
Our verdict: There's a chance that it's true, but there is still very much a chance that this is not happening. It certainly is not as close to being a done deal as the report may lead some to believe.
Neymar is in a great spot with his friends, starts every match he is available and is at a club that should be able to win another one or two Champions Leagues with their attacking trio.
This could be a case of Neymar and his side trying to get a sweeter deal at Barcelona, with info being leaked to put more pressure on the Spanish giants, similar to what.
There remains a good deal of uncertainty here, but if PSG does have an agreement with the player, there are still many more details to be ironed out before a move is completed. We will, of course, keep you informed as new details emerge.
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