Why Didn’t Man Utd Go for Ney­mar?

The Economic Times - - Sports: The Great Games - Miguel De­laney

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

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