Neymar Isn’t Coming to Paris Saint-Germain

Paris Saint-Germain will not sign Neymar this summer.

That’s the conclusion I came to after a full day reflecting on the news that broke on Tuesday. If you somehow managed to miss the Neymar to PSG speculation that took over Twitter, here’s what happened. Esporte Interativo in Brazil reported that not only did Neymar agree to join PSG, but that the club is willing to trigger his release clause with a €222 million bid–shattering the previous record set by Paul Pogba last season.

The move makes sense for PSG for many reasons. Let’s address the money issue first. PSG is a rich club and if they sold some dead weight (Lucas Moura and Blaise Matuidi for example) the net spend wouldn’t be that astronomical. On the pitch, he would likely play up front on the left wing with Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria. This would force Julian Draxler to move into the midfield or come off the bench, which in a season before the FIFA World Cup, wouldn’t make the German too happy. Neymar could also fill in as a backup striker to Cavani who is another year older and may benefit from sharing the scoring load. Regardless of where the 25-year-old lines up, his attacking prowess (20 goals and 21 assists last season for Barcelona) would benefit a PSG side that was sometimes lethargic going forward.

There’s also the off the field benefits to signing Neymar. The Brazilian international certainly doesn’t lack for exposure at Barcelona but let’s be honest, he will never get out from under Lionel Messi’s shadow no matter what he accomplishes with the Catalan club. At the Parc des Princes, he would instantly become the face of the club and if he did lead the club to UEFA Champions League glory, a solid gold statue would be erected outside the stadium in his honor.

Since Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s departure, Paris have lost some of their worldwide appeal. As good as Cavani and Marco Verratti are, they don’t possess the “it” factor Ibra had. Neymar is the face of the Brazil national team and a household name. Having him in the squad would increase the club’s value and bring more attention to them–for better or worse. Not to mention they would sell an insane amount of those new Brazil-inspired away kits.

Despite all the positives, both on the pitch and off, I don’t see the move happening and it all comes down to Verratti. Just a week ago, Barcelona appeared on the verge of signing the Italian from PSG but things turned ugly and his agent made some unsettling comments. The Spanish giants weren’t innocent in their recruitment of the midfield maestro either. When their initial bids were turned away, they used the media to creative a narrative that made it seem like Verratti was being held prisoner. Fortunately for PSG supporters, Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Antero Henrique stood their ground and told Barcelona to kick rocks. Could the Neymar news be payback for Barca’s bullshit? Or, could it be that Neymar’s people leaked this information in order to get a new and improved contract from his current club?

If I’m being practical about the situation, I’m going with the latter (Neymar wanting a new deal). From everything we’ve seen from Henrique since his arrival earlier this summer, spending big on a player like Neymar doesn’t seem to be in his DNA. Besides, there’s a more practical option on the market. Alexis Sanchez still hasn’t signed a new deal with Arsenal FC and his recent comments about wanting Champions League football seem to suggest he wants to move on. If that’s the case, PSG can still have an unbelievable South American front line without having to break the bank for Neymar.

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Tags Alexis Sanchez Angel Di Maria Antero Henrique Blaise Matuidi Edinson Cavani Julian Draxler Nasser Al-Khelaifi Neymar


  1. Alves wages don’t exactly present Henrique as the most frugal guy but I see your point. Hopefully you’re wrong, haha.

    1. He came on a free and it was only a two-year deal. Pretty frugal considering PSG’s recent history with transfers, haha. I hope I’m wrong too but the story doesn’t seem to be going away.

  2. I like the approach Ed. Tell yourself that something that you really want isn’t going to happen, so that if it doesn’t you don’t feel as bad. In this case I’m a lot more confident then I was a year ago. In regards to Verratti, this is definitely PSG getting back at the Catalan club, but it’s also the exact signing that Verratti wanted, in his own words, and would assuage his anxiousness regarding the club’s ambition.

    Now regarding Neymar himself. He’s a very patriotic guy and the Brazilian contingent has dwindled at the Nou Camp as opposed to the abundance of Brazilians at PSG, not to mention the Alves factor, one of his best friends who will always hold his ear. Also this time, reports out of Brazil say that he’s told not only his family, but his buddies at PSG that he wants to come, that wasn’t quite the case last time. He’s also craves individual accolades and being on Messi’s team isn’t going to help you in that regard, which is why his reported wage demands aren’t as crazy as last time. Then as many Barça fans have noticed Messi and Suarez seem to be much tighter than Neymar Is with the two, as he’s often the odd man out on and off the pitch.

    On the Henrique front, he must see this as a great opportunity to strengthen our squad with a world class player that is also a global marketing dream and at the same time weaken one of your greatest European rivals. Granted he’s not been one to spend big foolishly, but he’s also not ever been at a club with PSGs financial might. This would be more of a strategic purchase than anything else, and what I like about this more than anything is that he isn’t rushing into anything and taking his time which forces the Brazilian to be forthright in his intent, unlike last year when we went in with guns blazing, not considering all the angles the Brazilian could have been playing. That said, even if the deal goes south, we actually have another pot on the simmer, in the form of Alexis.

    1. Thanks for the comment Hanivel and all good points, especially about the Brazilian contingent at Barca. I would love if the transfer went through but right now I would give it only a 15 percent chance. Even with Alves encouraging him, I think at the end of the day he signs a new contract with his current club.

      Henrique definitely appears to know what he’s doing. If the deal does go down, I feel much better with him at the controls than Kluivert!

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