Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has called for a change of image at the club, one which may not include Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr.
The PSG chief has been doing the media rounds recently, but his failure to give straight answers to questions about Neymar has only fuelled transfer speculation.
Al-Khelaifi may not have mentioned the Brazilian directly, but did appear to take aim at the player, telling Spanish news outlet Brand: “We want young, talented, committed players with a winning mentality, people who want to die for this badge.”
Neymar’s commitment and winning mentality have often been questioned, and with the club set to go in a fresh direction, his spell in Paris may be coming to an end.
The big question is, where could the 30-year-old Brazil international go next? We take a look at the main contenders.
PSG signed Neymar for £ 197million from Barcelona back in 2017. With that in mind, do not expect the Parisians to part with the forward unless there are serious numbers on the table. One club who could afford a big transfer fee and a substantial wage packet are Chelsea. With Todd Boehly taking over as owner, the American will be looking to make a big statement in his first transfer window. Chelsea are desperate for a signing, and sealing the signature of Neymar would certainly send a statement of intent to the rest of the Premier League.
What’s more, the Brazilian has a good relationship with Thomas Tuchel following their time together in Paris between 2018 and 2020.
Neymar returning to Barcelona would undoubtedly make for a fairy-tale story, but the financial obstacles could prove insurmountable for the Catalan giants.
The Brazil international currently pockets £ 3.4million a month – a figure presumably out of reach for a club still over £ 1billion in debt.
What’s more, the La Liga side have already prioritized a number of transfer targets, including Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.
Speaking of money, there’s no shortage of it in the north-east following a Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle United.
Eddie Howe’s side are yet to make a landmark signing, though they did make a number of additions last season.
Since ownership takeover, the belief is that it will take a few years for Newcastle to enter the top four, or even the top six. The signing of Neymar would certainly bring those ambitions more sharply into focus.
There are no morals in football. Business, after all, is just business. With that in mind, the fact that Neymar played 123 games for La Blaugrana would not be an obstacle behind a potential transfer to the Spanish capital.
However, Los Blancos have shown little interest in the player, and considering their latest debacle with PSG over Kylian Mbappe, the last club Florentino Perez will want to do business with is the Parisians.
Manchester City have already done big business this year, following the signing of striker Erling Haaland. Could there be appetite in the blue half of Manchester for another big arrival? Not necessarily. Throughout his time in management, Pep Guardiola has developed a reputation for a particular type of player.
Big personalities do not tend to mix well with the Spaniard, and it was not a surprise when the City boss passed up on the opportunity of signing Cristiano Ronaldo last season.
You do not get many bigger personalities in football than Neymar, which would suggest a deal is unlikely.
Manchester United used to be a desired destination for world-class football players. Today, that view of the Red Devils has been consigned to history books.
With no Champions League participation next season, the club are finding it difficult to get deals over the line and are being forced to subsidize that top-tier European absence with big pay checks.
United have burned through a lot of cash over the years, and it appears the Red Devils are going down a different route under Erik ten Hag. Their approaches for Antony and Frenkie de Jong appear to underline that.
Once again, a major hurdle for Juventus in a potential pursuit of Neymar is his mega wages.
Recent reports claim that PSG have offered their Brazilian star to the Serie A club. While a transfer is out of the question, there is the possibility of a loan move, with Moise Kean possibly going in the other direction.
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