Neymar Junior faces an uncertain future. The 30-year-old Brazilian forward has reportedly been deemed surplus to requirements at Paris Saint-Germain following an internal review that looks to right the wrongs of the past few years at the Parc des Princes. It’s not a situation that he would have envisioned when he joined the club in the summer of 2017.
At that point he was the most expensive player in history, costing PSG €222m when they pried him from Barcelona. If you think the Brazilian could return to Camp Nou this summer – or feel he could head elsewhere – consult this online casino beginner’s guide.
At the moment that scenario seems to be decidedly unlikely. It’s more probable that Neymar heads for the moneyed Premier League with a triumvirate of clubs – Chelsea, Manchester United and Newcastle United – emerging as potential destinations. How the Brazilian would adapt to the relentless pace and aggression of English football is unknown.
And a move doesn’t come at the best time for the Brazilian. He hadn’t planned on leaving France this summer as it comes months before what’s probably his last World Cup in Qatar later this winter. Brazil have a great chance of winning their first edition of football’s most prestigious competition since 2002 and he’ll hope to be in peak form going into it.
Two serious rivals for that prize, of course, are two of his teammates at PSG in Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi. The former is the lightning rod that leads the French national team while the latter is the fulcrum of his beloved Argentina. Both of those players are also the reason Neymar is being shopped around Europe this summer.
Mbappe is one of the best players in the world and, in his decision to renew his contract with PSG in the face of interest from Real Madrid, has won considerable power at the club. PSG appointed his chosen director in Luis Campos, jettisoning Leonardo, and will give him preference above both Neymar and Messi. But Messi, from a commercial standpoint as well as on-field contribution, in turn out-guns Neymar. So it’s he who has to go.
But where he ends up is anyone’s guess. Might he re-unite with Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge or could he be the marquee signing to spearhead another rebuild at Old Trafford? Or, more shockingly, could he be the man to announce Saudi Arabia-connected Newcastle to the wider football world? The coming weeks will soon reveal the answer.