We’ve started so we’ll finish.
This outlet has brought coverage and opinion on the Neymar transfer saga, that is beginning to seem never-ending. And we’ll see it through.
Speculation however is more plentiful than developments or hard facts momentarily, but all that will change as we edge closer to September 2.
That’s almost 2 weeks away, so there’s likely to be much more posturing, rumour and lack of movement before a final flurry brings about a conclusion, or not, as the case may be should the player remain at PSG, post-deadline.
And that seems a possibility, with the French club holding all the cards, and noises emerging from Paris that despite all, PSG would like the player to remain.
They certainly seem to be in no hurry to sell, and even more determined to hold out for whichever amount of money, or players, they want. PSG are certainly not allowing themselves to be bullied by the might of Spanish football’s, maybe the world’s, two biggest clubs.
Neymar is training alone, the French club conveniently claiming it’s part of his recuperation. Some fans have made it clear they do not want Neymar back in PSG colours, and I expect should the Brazilian remain in Paris after September 2, they know it’s on a temporary basis. He could move when the January window opens.
Barcelona have so far been unable to entice the Parisiens with the offers of various players moving to the French capital. Now a loan is being touted, with a commitment to buy at the end of the 2019/20 season. But for how much? What fee would PSG consider fair at 2020 prices? More than their current valuation I would expect.
And, what if the player has a bad season after moving to Barca, or worse still, gets injured (not the most unlikely of possibilities given Neymar’s recent soccer health?).
Another rumour that’s emerged over the past couple of days, has been the involvement of Juventus.
According to Spanish daily AS, Barca claim Juventus has entered the race, and that Fabio Paratici, Juve’s sporting director, has offered Dybala plus a large amount of cash for Neymar.
Because there are also fears that PSG may covet Dybala as a Neymar replacement, Barca is rumoured to have offered Luis Suarez to Juventus.
It has been claimed by Tuttosport that Suarez was offered to the Italians to try fend the Italian giants off. Apparently Barca and Juventus representatives met also to discuss a deal for Miranda and talked a potential swap involving Emre Can and Rakitic. But the Suarez lure, is not something that interests The Old Lady.
Which leaves Real Madrid. According to ESPN, players at the Bernabeu have spoken with Neymar to say he would be welcome.
Coach Zinedine Zidane has had a rocky start to his second spell as coach at Los Merengues; there’s been the Gareth Bale issue, where regret must exist over the frequency and nature of several quotes, a poor pre-season, Real’s failure thus far, to prise Paul Pogba away from Manchester United and what now seems a forlorn hope that Neymar may arrive instead.
Zidane must still see, and hope, the acquisition of Neymar as a game-changer as he toils with a squad containing too many key players the wrong side of 30.
The former World Player of the Year is used to getting his own way as a coach, and he won’t be impressed or encouraged by events over the past couple of months. The Bale issue particularly has hinted that all may not be in harmony between Zidane and Real president, Florentino Perez. Should Real lose the race for Neymar, the Frenchman’s resilience and desire for his current role may wane.
Meanwhile the Neymar soap opera is unlikely to conclude over the next few days. The really hard-talking will commence at the very end of August, when furious negotiations look set to be crammed-in over a short and intense 48-hours, after which we will know which super-club retains the Brazilian’s services for the rest of the season.
Don’t be surprised if that club is Paris St Germain.