The countdown has begun to the end of the summer transfer window for most teams around Europe, as English Premier League sides side back and watch as the rest of the big teams around the continent continue to make moves. Alas, while that may be a little bit frustrating for them, it does allow us to take a quick glance at what is turning out to be one of the biggest transfer sagas of the last decade or so.
We are, of course, referring to Brazilian sensation Neymar. The Paris Saint-Germain forward has let his club know that he is interested in moving on to pastures new, which isn’t exactly a shocking revelation. The Brazilian international quite clearly has a tendency to move on from things whenever he wants a new challenge, and the nature of his star power quite clearly means that he can dictate what happens in his favour.
Staying or going?
Regardless of whether or not you think that’s okay, you do need to accept that this is the way things are. In terms of where he’s going to end up playing his football for the remainder of the season, though, it seems like there are three potential options: Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Staying at PSG seems less likely in the minds of many, purely given the fact that he told them he doesn’t want to play there anymore. However, there’s no point in pretending like this hasn’t been seen or done before. Big players request to leave pretty often, and there are times when a deal cannot be struck or arranged – meaning they need to suck it up and earn their millions in a place where they aren’t overly happy.
Then we’ve got Barcelona, which would serve as a return to the Nou Camp for Neymar. He spent a good few years running riot alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in the Spanish city, but when he left, there was certainly a sour taste in the mouths of many fans all around the world. They seemed to feel as if he was taking the club for granted a little bit, and as such, this is seen as an unlikely deal despite the fact that Barca are preparing to put forward one final bid in an attempt to complete the signing before the window shuts.
Then comes, in our mind, the most likely scenario of them all: Real Madrid. This feels like the kind of supervillain pairing that even the Russo brothers couldn’t write. On one hand you’ve got the pantomime villain of Neymar, and on the other, you’ve got one of the most detested managers in the game: Zinedine Zidane. We might be exaggerating a bit by using the term detested, but his treatment of Gareth Bale certainly hasn’t landed him in many good books.
The bookmakers themselves will have their own theories, but either way, we’re set for a blockbuster end to what has already been a bizarre summer transfer window.