Neymar '200%' Likely to Stay at Barcelona Amid PSG Rumours, Says Jordi Mestre

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2017

Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar arrives for a training session at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona on July 17, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE        (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)
LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre is "200 per cent" sure that Neymar will stay at the club amid speculation linking him to Paris Saint-Germain this summer. 

According to ESPN.co.uk, he said: "I'm 200 per cent sure that he is going to stay. I've read information in the French press that PSG themselves have categorically denied it, a club with whom we are maintaining absolutely normal relations. Nothing has changed in that aspect."

Per BBC Sport's Saj Chowdhury, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu also echoed that sentiment after Brazilian outlet Esporte Interativo (h/t ESPN) reported Neymar had agreed a deal with PSG, who would meet his €222 million (£195 million) buyout clause.

As noted by SB Nation's Zito Madu, the Brazilian being linked with a move away from Barcelona is nothing new:

Zito @_Zeets

Neymar has signed for Manchester United and PSG every single transfer window since he moved to Barcelona

The latest round of rumours come despite Neymar putting pen to paper on a five-year deal last October, though with his release clause set to increase further still with each passing season, a move this summer could make sense if the enormous fee is feasible for PSG.

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Football writer Ryan Baldi believes the forward is one of very few players in world football who could command such a fee in today's market:

Ryan Baldi @RyanBaldiFW

Paying that kind of fee for Neymar would probably be jumping ahead three or four years in terms of what the most elite players might cost.

The 25-year-old has contributed 105 goals and 80 assists in 186 appearances for Barcelona since he joined in 2013, and he has also racked up 52 goals for Brazil's national team having earned 77 caps.

South American football expert Tim Vickery believes there could be some substance to the speculation linking Neymar with a departure from Barcelona, per BBC 5 live Sport:

BBC 5 live Sport @5liveSport

"You can't win World POTY if you're not the outstanding player in your own team" Will Neymar to #PSG actually happen?! Here's @Tim_Vickery https://t.co/v3pNByhvke

Kieran Canning of the Agence France-Presse looked at the factors that may influence his decision and prompt him to join the Ligue 1 giants, though there are just as many reasons to stay put:

Kieran Canning @KieranCanning

Reasons to believe @neymarjr to PSG could happen: Money, Alves/T. Silva influence, pending court case in Spain

Kieran Canning @KieranCanning

@neymarjr Being face no.2 at Barca still bigger than main man at PSG commercially for now given exposure of leagues, support bases worldwide

While PSG are among Europe's elite, they would represent a slight step down from Barcelona, and though he'd likely shine against the lower calibre of defences in the French top flight, the lesser opposition might also somewhat hinder his chances of establishing himself as the world's best.

Lionel Messi may not yet be showing any signs of decline, but having now turned 30 it won't be too long, relatively speaking, before Neymar can inherit his status in the side.

Much will also depend on whether PSG are prepared to meet his release clause. Even for a club of their resources, it's no small task to summon the money needed not only for his fee but also his considerable wages.


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