Manchester United have been name-dropped as one of the only clubs who can afford to sign Neymar this summer. The Brazil international has been deemed surplus to requirements at Paris Saint-Germain, having failed to propel them to Champions League glory since arriving from Barcelona in 2017. So, with that being the case, it’s time to look back at when the Red Devils rejected a swap deal offer that would have seen Paul Pogba move in the opposite direction.
RMC Sport recently claimed Neymar is thinking about leaving PSG this summer, half a decade on from his £200 million world-record move from Barcelona.
It’s stated the Samba star is unhappy with PSG chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who recently said: “A possible departure for Neymar this summer?
“What I can tell you is that we expect all players to do a lot more than last season.
“They have to be 100 percent. We weren’t good enough to go far.
“You have to become humble, you have to avoid injuries, suspensions and fouls that change a game.”
United, Chelsea and Newcastle were then mentioned as being the only three clubs in world football with the financial capacity to sign Neymar.
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The Red Devils finished sixth in the Premier League table last term, struggling for consistency under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
That makes a deal unlikely, particularly given they have no Champions League football to offer the Brazilian.
And it’s also worth noting that, in 2019, the Red Devils turned down the Brazil international when they were approached.
The Independent claimed that year that the Ligue 1 giants sounded out the Red Devils about a blockbuster exchange.
Pogba wanted out of United at the time, having fallen out with Jose Mourinho. Although his relationship with Solskjaer was better, his mind was made up.
Neymar was also inclined to move on that summer, having grown frustrated at their failure to win the Champions League during his first two years in Paris.
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It was claimed PSG proposed United take Neymar off their hands, only for the Red Devils to turn down the offer for two reasons.
The first was financial, with the Red Devils believing it would cost too much money to bring Neymar in.
A figure of £900,000 a week was mentioned, with United understandably reluctant to pay that much money – which was double what Alexis Sanchez pocketed at the time.
And the second reason United turned PSG down was because Ed Woodward wanted to keep Pogba at the club.
In the end, nothing materialized.
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And it’s likely to be a similar outcome with United and the Samba star this summer, with Erik ten Hag having other transfer targets in mind.
Antony, who has drawn comparisons with Neymar due to his trickery and eye for goal, is one player on the Red Devils’ radar.
And they’re also hoping to recruit Frenkie de Jong, Tyrell Malacia and Lisandro Martinez from Barcelona, Feyenoord and Ajax respectively.
Regarding Neymar, it’ll be interesting to see what happens.
A return to Barcelona has been mooted, with Xavi never hiding his desire to bring his former team-mate back to Catalonia.
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However, their priority appears to be landing Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich instead – with the Poland international eager to make the move.
Chelsea have downplayed interest in Neymar, with Raheem Sterling and Raphinha both in their sights.
And that’s despite Thiago Silva recently advocating a move for his compatriot, with the centre-back saying: “He has to go to Chelsea.
“If it happens, it will be for the best. Nothing else needs to be said.
“So far, I don’t know anything, but I hope it comes to fruition.”
And Newcastle don’t have the pulling power to land the 30-year-old right now, even if they’ve made significant strides since the appointment of Eddie Howe.