Manchester United are reportedly willing to shell out a world-record transfer fee of £200 million in order to sign Barcelona superstar Neymar, who is said to have already been in contact with Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho.
According to Neil Fissler of the Sunday Express, the Red Devils are ready to obliterate the world transfer record—Paul Pogba’s £89 million return to the club last summer—by offering the nine-figure sum for Neymar.
Fissler also cited a report from Rik Sharma of Catalan newspaper Sport, which said United manager Mourinho has contacted Neymar “regularly” in the hopes he can convince him to join the English powerhouse.
Fissler’s report mentioned Neymar’s release clause is valued at £180 million, although that figure is scheduled to rise by another £20 million this summer.
That fee would be more than twice the £89 million paid to bring Pogba back from Juventus last August, but the Premier League powerhouse has proved it’s willing to spend major funds where it feels there is value to be had.
United have already benefited from their massive transfer investment from last summer. Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have become hits, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored 26 goals this season, including a match-winning brace in Sunday’s 3-2 EFL Cup final win over Southampton.
A second world-record transfer fee paid in as many summers could therefore be well-placed this year, and Statman Dave pointed out Neymar as one of Europe’s mightiest puppeteers this term
That’s despite the Brazilian enduring one of his more lacklustre campaigns since arriving in Spain from Santos almost four years ago, with Neymar’s overall goal tally of six somewhat disappointing for this stage of the season.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Jones went one further and suggested Barcelona could be tempted into cashing in on Neymar while his value is at its optimum
Mourinho’s personal involvement in any transfer could become a crucial factor, although it would take a lot of convincing for Neymar to leave Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, with whom he’s formed one of the best attacks in football.
Barcelona can bank on substantial reimbursement in the event they do choose to sell Neymar, but even United’s sky-high spending may not be sufficient to tempt the Catalan club into letting one of their most prized stars leave.