By using the tried and tested trick of distraction, Neymar’s reported overtures to Barcelona are merely a move to get him from PSG to Real Madrid
As utterly amazeballs as it might seem…yeah, it has been a thing this week.
A potential Neymar return to FC Barcelona.
Before your head explodes in disbelief, hear me out. There seems to be an ongoing thread that injects some sort of common sense into this whole fuss. Reports are confusing and even a bit far-fetched, but let’s sort the facts first and analysis later.
The first reports slipped through on Wednesday night and pointed at an alleged clause in Neymar Jr’s contract with PSG which, if true, would allow the player to leave the French side for a reported sum of $230 million in summer 2020.
Hmmm… Okay. What else?
Then, insider scoops related to the player’s own state of mind. The Brazilian star seems disappointed after his move fifteen months ago to Paris. Then, it seemed that leaving Leo Messi’s shadow and trying to carry, by himself, a gargantuan project was the best course of action.
The Ballon d’Or plot failed at PSG
Not after Kylian Mbappé made his rapturous explosion with PSG last season. The French striker just got better and better, carrying more responsibility as the season developed and especially after Ney’s unfortunate injury versus Real Madrid in the Champions League, which prevented him from playing the crucial game at Santiago Bernabeu.
That night, PSG got knocked out (remember, Neymar’s biggest target towards his ultimate goal of winning the Ballon d’Or) and another notch in the disappointment column had to be placed.
After France’s win at the World Cup and Brazil’s demise, friends and family of the superstar defined his morale as “depressed”. Neymar isn’t happy in Paris and he has shown his feelings several times, though the ‘real’ vessels to express that unhappiness have been his ‘Toiss’, childhood friends who go everywhere with him and who are usually in touch with the media.
Currently in his second season in Paris, the outcome locally is more or less expected: PSG will win Ligue 1 and possibly the French Cup. The Champions League will be a totally different affair. Regardless of how far they get this year, Ney isn’t fully on board the mega-project he spearheaded only fifteen-months-ago.
Need to add more fuel to the fire?
Neymar is still close friends with most of his team mates at Barça. Leaving aside Gerard Piqué’s infamous “Se queda” meme, he talks regularly to Messi, Luis Suarez or Piqué himself. He’s visited them during his free days quite a few times and he never hides from taking a selfie or pictures with them. Reportedly, Barça’s squad would be happy to have him back as they know how important he might be in clutch games and in the overall performance of the team.
Why Real Madrid is the real target for Neymar
Why this whole story might be nonsense.
Obviously, many of these reasons require a huge leap of faith. Barça would have to pay back a slightly higher sum that they sold Neymar for in 2017. Does Barça have that kind of money? Does Barça actually want Neymar back? So many questions!
On Friday, the board squashed any potential rumors with harsh words towards Neymar: “Nobody has even mentioned the possibility of buying Neymar back. He left. Period. If we hadn’t trusted his potential and let him go, that would be different. But this is not the case”, stated Vice President Jordi Cardoner on Catalunya Radio.
Did you hear that? It’s Neymar’s door slamming shut pretty firmly.
If you ask me, this piece of news is only a single move in the chess game being played by Neymar and his father. The endgame here seems pretty clear: Neymar wants to came back to La Liga as he knows that it’s the league better suited to his style and where he will have the biggest media exposure.
And, as he already knows that Barça’s board would never ever try buying him back (Neymar’s definitely not a fool), he wants to maneuver emotionally with the “coming back home” argument.
This way, when Barça reject any chance of this grand return happening, he will have the leverage and clear a path to explain that, well, as you guys don’t want me back…I have no other choice than going to Real Madrid.