Why Didn’t Man Utd Go for Neymar?
Neymar’s i mpendi ng move f rom Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain has left many figures at the top end of football asking a lot of questions about the transfer, and one of the biggest related to England. If the Brazilian superstar really was gettablethissummer,whydidn’tanyonefrom the wealthiest league in the world get him, specifically Manchester United?
The club obviously has the money and, just as importantly, executive vice-chairmanEdWoodwardobviouslyhastheinterest. Obsessed with bringing “stars” to the club, he has intensely investigated a move forNeymarbefore,sowhynotnow-whenit might actually have been on?
That very previous interest, however, is one reason why United didn’t go back in this summer. Old Trafford sources say the club were among many in the European game who felt this entire saga was little more than a ploy for a new contract, and were wary of getting played as they have been with Sergio Ramos before. United applied a similar attitude to Cristiano Ronaldo this summer.
As one agent who works closely with big continental clubs said, there are a few in football who don’t really trust Neymar’s “money-mad” entourage, and it does remain possible this was all a big game of brinksmanship that has backed them into acornerthattheydon’treallywanttobein.
Ifitisn’tandNeymarwasgenuinelygettable, it does raise the argument that United may have missed out on him due to mere wariness, but it’s again not that simple.
The Brazilian camp’s links to PSG go much deeper, the history between them goes much further back, and there are simply more connections. Neymar him- self has a series of international teammates in the PSG squad, so it’s a more natural move from that perspective, not to mention the lifestyle.
Paris appeals to his entourage much more than Manchester, and there’s also the feeling that he himself now wants to be the main man at any future club he goes to. That mightn’t have been quite so possible at United, given how PaulPogbaisalreadyseenasaninfluential figure in the dressing room. By contrast, Neymar will be given free rein at PSG.
Itd also be a mistake right now to think that United’s millions would give them free rein in terms of spending. As some of Jose Mourinho’s public comments this summer have suggested, and as some of their struggles in tough negotiations like those for Alvaro Morata and Ivan Perisic had indicated, there’s a feeling around Old Trafford that the Glazer owners have tightened transfer funds a little.
There’s also the fact United’s general policy isn’t to activate release clauses, due to complications, and that they are relatively unmoving on their payment structures.
PSG don’t have the same reluctance. There are also said to be bigger reasons at play as to why they are so much pushier on the deal, not least that they are owned by Qatar Sports Investments, and that the political situation in the Middle East right now involves a lot of proxy statements of clout. It was an honour to have shared a dressing room with you for all those years my friend, Neymar. All the best for the next stage in your life LIONEL MESSI bids goodbye to teammate on Instagram (translated from Spanish) The transfer of Neymar to PSG will have an effect on the club finances over several years but the impact of such an operation cannot be judged in advance, notably as PSG could well sell several players for a significant amount. We shall therefore only make calculations at the end and make sure that they respect the rules.
Neymar joined Barcelona in 2013—AFP