French champions Paris Saint-Germain will reportedly make Barcelona star Neymar their main summer transfer target, turning their attentions away from Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
According to newspaper L’Equipe (h/t Goal), the transfer ban issued to Los Blancos on Thursday, per BBC Sport, makes the sale of Ronaldo unlikely. So it’s suggested PSG have drafted a new list of targets, including Sergio Aguero, Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus, Eden Hazard and, at the top, Neymar.
Here’s the story in the newspaper, per Sportyou:
El PSG se olvida de Cristiano y se lanza a por Neymar > https://t.co/6P59ZWPtO7 https://t.co/em81uacBKf2016-1-15 09:20:08
It’d be some coup by the Paris outfit, as Neymar has cemented his status as one of the best players in world football over the past 12 months. Here’s a look at how he’s done so:
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s contract at the Parc des Princes set to expire at the end of this season, there’s a chance PSG will be on the lookout for a new talisman. And Neymar, while often playing second fiddle to Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou, has proved he is capable of shouldering the burden of leading an elite team.
When Messi was injured for two months earlier in the season, Neymar was sublime, enjoying his best run of form in a Barcelona shirt. At PSG, where the team would be built around him, that kind of sensational form is something we could be treated to on a much more regular basis.
But as noted by Diana Kristinne of Grup14.com, it doesn’t seem like a deal that will come to fruition:
Diana Kristinne @DianaKristinne
Cute. https://t.co/q4Gs52jw1j2016-1-15 09:08:50
Indeed, when PSG skipper Thiago Silva was asked about the prospect of Neymar potentially coming to the French capital on television channel France 3 (h/t FourFourTwo), he claimed that it’s more likely a deal could be done for Messi.
“I like Neymar a lot, but I think Barcelona will not allow him to leave,” said the Brazilian. “It would perhaps be easier for Barcelona to let go of Messi. Could Messi come to PSG? Perhaps. ... I mean, why not? Everything is possible.”
It’s certainly an intriguing question given the age of both players and the manner in which Neymar has improved over the past year. But without wanting to delve too much into the debate, it’s imperative that the Blaugrana keep hold of the 23-year-old.
The Brazil skipper seems to be the only player on the planet who would potentially be capable of filling the void left by the 28-year-old Messi when he does hang up his boots or leave the club.
He’s young enough, talented enough and clearly possesses the mentality required to be the main man at a massive football club.
As noted here by OptaJose, it’s not just the goals scored by Neymar that have made him so important either:
43 - Only Neymar (62) has created more goalscoring chances than Nolito (43) in La Liga this season. Dream.2016-1-13 17:44:46
Paris Saint-Germain are one of a selection of clubs in world football who possess the financial clout to put together a package that could possibly lure Neymar away from Catalonia. The prospect of becoming the most expensive player in history and the figurehead of the French champions would also surely appeal to the Brazilian.
But it’s evident Neymar loves Barcelona. He emits the aura of a man who is contented with life at the Camp Nou, enjoying playing alongside two of the best forwards in the world—Messi and Luis Suarez—and winning trophies on a regular basis in the iconic Blaugrana jersey. With that in mind, the reasons for leaving are few in number.