Barcelona star Neymar was the subject of much transfer speculation this summer, with both Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United reportedly interested in the Brazilian striker.
The 24-year-old eventually decided to remain with the La Liga champions, signing a new five-year deal that will see him earn €14 million per year, thus shutting down any chance of the cash rich PSG or United making a move in the January transfer window.
Now, as reported by the Bleacher Report, Neymar’s agent, Wagner Ribeiro, has revealed that the player was ‘close’ to leaving the Catalan club for either PSG or United during the summer.
“He was close to joining PSG. He would have earned €40 million a year net. Neymar was also close to a spell at Manchester United, but he extended his contract to earn less at Barcelona because he wanted to stay at Barcelona.”
Riberio’s claim of a €40 million salary offer from PSG would have seen the striker become football’s highest paid star, doubling the reported €20 million salary teammate Lionel Messi earns.
In addition to this incredible salary offer, PSG appeared ready to meet the release clause of the star, set by Barcelona at €190 million, nearly double the world record fee United paid this summer when they signed Paul Pogba from Juventus.
It is well known that PSG have huge financial resources due to their being owned by the Qatari royal family. However, if the purported salary and release clause assertions are true, a deal for Neymar this summer would have seen him not only become the most expensive and highest earning football player, but also among the highest in any sport.
Opting instead to remain with Barcelona, his ‘dream club’, it’s nice to see that money isn’t always the driving force behind football’s top players. However, you might agree that earning €14 million a year to stay isn’t that bad a deal either.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena