Real Madrid and Barcelona are reportedly set for an auction to land Neymar in a big-money move before the summer window slams shut.
According to a report by Spanish publication AS, Neymar is set to be the subject of a bidding war similar to the one that saw him join Barcelona in the summer of 2013. The La Liga champions are poised to go head-to-head with Real Madrid in pursuit of the disgruntled PSG star.
It was only two years ago that Neymar shocked the world by leaving Barcelona, reportedly looking to come out of the shadows of Lionel Messi and become the protagonist at PSG. Two seasons on, however, the move has not quite worked as he would have envisioned, with injuries hampering each of his campaigns with the French giants.
In this period, Kylian Mbappe has emerged as the pivotal figure for Les Parisiens and Neymar has subsequently seen his relationship with club officials break down. As a result, his future has been the subject of intense speculation this summer, with Real Madrid and Barcelona both being linked with him.
Barcelona have been linked more heavily than Real Madrid, with widespread reports mooting a possible return to Camp Nou, even after the arrival of Antoine Griezmann. And, with both Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele rumoured to be on the chopping block, a place for Neymar could theoretically be created in the Catalans’ first-team setup.
But, Barcelona vice-president Jordi Cardoner recently ruled out a move for the Brazilian international, which seemed to have slammed the breaks on their pursuit of their former star. AS though, speculate that the Blaugrana are in the running for the 27-year-old once again.
However, the La Liga champions have to contend with Real Madrid in pursuit of Neymar, with recent claims suggesting that Los Blancos are in advanced talks with PSG for the former Barcelona superstar. The interest from the Merengues is slightly perplexing, seeing as they have heavily invested in attack this summer.
But, with Neymar likely to be available this summer, the time is perfect for Real Madrid to pounce and finally get their man, while he is still in his prime. And, AS report that the record 13-time UEFA Champions League winners are in the driver’s seat in the chase for Neymar, although Barcelona fancy their chances as well.
While Real Madrid enjoy a fine relationship with PSG, something Barcelona cannot boast of, the fact that the player prefers a return to Camp Nou ought to keep them in the race. Los Blancos though, are willing to insert one or more makeweights in the deal to sign Neymar, with the likes of Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Keylor Navas being the choices for PSG, as per AS.
For now, however, things remain in the balance when it comes to Neymar’s future. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid are vying for his signature, but all things considered, his wages and transfer fee would undoubtedly pose problems for this summer’s heavy spenders, and there are chances that he could yet stay put at PSG.