PSG Will Reportedly Pay Neymar the Same as Lionel Messi to Fend off Real Madrid

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 13, 2018

A combination of images shows (L-R) Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi, Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian striker Neymar and Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
Neymar was named alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on the three-man shortlist for the Best FIFA Men's Player Award, which was announced in London on September 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Lluis GENE        (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP Contributor/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly in talks with Neymar over a new contract to keep him at the French giants, and the Ligue 1 champions are said to be offering wages on par with Lionel Messi to tie him down. 

Manu de Juan of AS reported that in light of Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Juventus, PSG have told Neymar's representatives they'd be willing to pay him a similar wage to the €50 million (£44.3 million) Messi earns at Barcelona.

The five-year deal Neymar signed upon moving to the Parc des Princes from Barca last summer is worth €37 million, but the sense is that Ronaldo's move to Turin has created an opening Real might look to fill with Neymar.

De Juan mentioned his PSG team-mate, Kylian Mbappe, as Real's back-up plan should they fail to snag the South American, although Madrid legend Michel Salgado warned Ronaldo is an irreplaceable figure, via Omnisport:

Omnisport @OmnisportNews

Neymar or Eden Hazard? Michel Salgado said he'd like one of them at #RealMadrid, but warned that Cristiano Ronaldo was irreplaceable for the #LaLiga giants. https://t.co/AZ9GCDXTbG

There's a longstanding concern regarding Neymar's affection for Los Blancos. Spanish journalist David Ruiz spoke to him and compatriot Philippe Coutinho when they were youngsters, and both described Real as their dream destination, per Marca.

Traversing the path from Barcelona to Madrid or vice-versa is a rare feat in football, Ronaldo and Luis Figo being two of the more famous examples to represent both clubs. The intersecting stay in Paris makes things easier for Neymar, however, and Tifo Football recently dissected the divide between Barca and Real:

According to De Juan, Los Merengues hope to convince Neymar to request an exit from the Parc des Princes to make their job easier, but pulling him closer to level with the highest earner in the sport is one way to keep their star loyal.

That's despite the fact the 26-year-old endured a difficult 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign as Brazil were knocked out by Belgium in the quarter-finals. Ronaldo was one of those left unimpressed with their campaign, per ESPN FC:


Ronaldo's verdict on Neymar at the World Cup: not good enough. https://t.co/fuUqeyatxP

Neymar's reputation was also tarnished by his diving antics in Russia, which prompted icon Marco van Basten to call the South American out on his behaviour, via Omnisport:

Omnisport @OmnisportNews

Stop diving! Marco van Basten has urged Neymar to cut the theatrics out of his game. #WorldCup #BRA https://t.co/8pxrjxqpXO

Mbappe is seven years younger than Neymar and could yet be the cheaper option of the two. The Frenchman is touted as a future Ballon d'Or challenger himself and could be the wiser purchase in any case.

Real's priority remains Neymar, but the chance to draw closer to highest-earner Messi may be enough to sell the Brazilian on committing to a new deal in the French capital.