Expect to see Manchester United linked to Neymar any day now, amid reports Paris Saint-Germain may look to cash in on the Brazilian.
After five years in Paris, L’Equipe report PSG could explore selling Neymar, despite his contract being set to auto-extend to 2027 from July 1.
There are only a few clubs who could afford to buy Neymar, and Manchester United may be financially capable, and are certainly viewed as naive and desperate enough to entertain a move. The Mirror claimed United were willing to pay £200 million to sign Neymar in 2018, during Ed Woodward’s tenure. The tabloids will make the link imminently, no doubt.
Despite Neymar’s ability and goal record, he is not a Manchester United player should be targeting. He would be a mega-money risk, earning a staggering £650,000 wage a week at PSG, who would not fit the profile of young, hungry stars Erik ten Hag would be looking to build around.
‘New Neymar’ is the player Manchester United should be signing
Ajax winger Antony is the latest player to be dubbed ‘the new Neymar’, with Goal.com attributing the nickname to his ‘pace and fantastic dribbling skills’.
Antony is already a Brazil international teammate of Neymar, and importantly, is known to new Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag, who signed him for Ajax and turned him into a two-time Eredivisie champion.
The winger is a crowd-pleaser, who brings intensity and entertainment to the team, and unlike Neymar, he has youth on his side at only 22.
Manchester United have a clear spot in the team for Antony, out on the right wing, whereas Neymar would not fit in as cohesively.
Antony would be a future star United would develop, in support of Cristiano Ronaldo. Putting Neymar up alongside Ronaldo would create as many problems as it solves with the duo likely to cost in excess of £1 million per week in wages.
We don’t doubt the Glazers would be tempted by Neymar’s global appeal and ability to sell shirts, but this would not be a smart footballing decision. In that sense, given United’s track record, we do expect them to show interest.
Erik ten Hag appears to be a sensitive manager, who should shut that down right away. A move for his former Ajax protege Antony is a far smarter investment, and one who The Times reports is a ‘key target’ for United. Neymar’s possible availability shout not change that.
Neymar’s availability may end up helping United
If PSG really do want to sell Neymar, and Manchester United smartly don’t get involved, there won’t be many clubs capable or willing to take him on.
The standout option is his former club Barcelona looking to make a splash, although the financial situation would be highly difficult.
One way they could partially get some money together is cashing in on a few assets, starting with Frenkie de Jong, who Manchester United are trying to sign. If this means accepting United’s offer a little sooner, then this will work in our favour.