Not content with turning football on its head with his sensational move from PSG to Barcelona, rumour has it that Neymar is already pondering over an even more earth-shattering transfer.
After less than six months in Ligue 1, 11 goals, a sending off and an extraordinary on-pitch contretemps with a team-mate, the flighty forward and his financially savvy father are already eyeing another escape route paved with gold. A return to Spain seems to be the dream, and where else but Real Madrid, who despite their willingness to ride roughshod over the generally accepted rules of engagement when it comes to transfers, just didn’t rate highly enough on the Deeney Index of cojones to snaffle the Brazilian directly from Barcelona in the summer.
Sergio Ramos certainly thinks a deal could happen, and the not-so-subtle persuasion has already begun: “I like to have the best and it’s clear Neymar is one of them,” he told Cadena Ser. “Maybe it was easier for him to go to PSG, instead of directly to Real Madrid. They are personal decisions, you never know what can happen because football goes around a lot. I already have the door open for him if he wants to come. I also have a good relationship with him.”
Apparently Marcelo has popped upstairs and told Madrid’s bigwigs that Neymar is unhappy in Paris, primarily because Unai Emery’s training methods and endless tactical lessons are tedious. The coach has two years to win the Champions League or his star striker is off, seems to be the message.
Lionel Messi believes he could be about to lose another one of his bessies at Barcelona, with Javier Mascherano having decided he will leave when his contract expires at the end of the season. A romantic return to Liverpool is on the cards, but so is a lucrative contract with PSG. It’s not all one-way traffic at the Camp Nou though, Barcelona having returned with a £106m offer for Philippe Coutinho. Liverpool have said only £132m will do it.
Lyon’s Nabil Fekir is currently pulling up trees after a couple of injury-ravaged seasons, and what better place to do that than the green, green grass of north London. Arsenal are very keen on the twinkle-toed No10, who has has admitted he would be interested in a move to the Premier League.
Less likely to opt for a Europa League campaign is Mauro Icardi, especially now Bayern Munich have joined Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for the Inter striker.