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Manchester United’s silence on Neymar speculation raises eyebrows

May 25, 2023

Recent reports have linked Brazilian superstar Neymar with a potential move to Manchester United. French publication L’Equipe has claimed that United, along with several other Premier League clubs, have engaged in talks with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), where Neymar currently plays. The negotiations with United are said to be the most advanced, and Neymar’s compatriot and teammate Casemiro has reportedly encouraged him to join him at Old Trafford.

Although Manchester United has distanced themselves from the rumors, it is worth noting that Ajax manager Erik ten Hag, when questioned about the speculation, chose not to outright dismiss it. This response has become a default answer for Ten Hag when questioned about transfers in public, but its lack of denial raised some eyebrows.

Neymar’s future at PSG appears uncertain, as the club’s hierarchy is reportedly looking to reshape the squad, moving away from big-name signings and focusing on a more local and youth-oriented approach. Additionally, Lionel Messi is expected to leave PSG when his contract expires, further adding to the potential upheaval in the squad.

The speculation surrounding Manchester United’s potential links with Qatar, including a battle for ownership between Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and British businessman Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has fueled further speculation about a possible move for Neymar. PSG, currently owned by Qatar Sports Investment, could see the acquisition of United as an opportunity for a marquee signing.

However, it remains unclear how Neymar would fit into Manchester United’s already well-equipped left-wing position, with players like Marcus Rashford, Alejandro Garnacho, and Jadon Sancho available. It is worth noting that Ten Hag’s priority is to secure a proven, goalscoring number nine to lead the attack, with Victor Osimhen from Napoli and Tottenham’s Harry Kane emerging as the leading candidates.

The financial aspect of such a transfer must also be considered. Neymar is still the world’s most expensive footballer, with his £198m transfer from Barcelona to PSG in 2017 remaining unmatched. United would face significant financial challenges in affording both Neymar and a world-class forward while ensuring harmony within the team.

While Neymar’s form may have dipped in recent seasons due to various injury issues, he has still managed to contribute significantly to PSG’s performance, scoring 13 goals and providing 11 assists in just 20 Ligue 1 starts this season. However, PSG’s failure in the Champions League could potentially motivate the Brazilian forward to seek new challenges elsewhere.

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