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Neymar is seeking a new £1 million-per-week deal in order to stay with Paris Saint-Germain rather than leave for Real Madrid, if the latest rumours are to be believed.
The Sunday Times‘ Duncan Castles reported the Brazil international will use Real’s interest as leverage to secure an improved contract less than one season after agreeing to his deal with Les Parisiens (via Goal).
Per Goal, the 26-year-old earns £537,000 per week. L’Equipe reported PSG have denied the claims (via AS‘ Amalia Fra).
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Speculation regarding Neymar’s future has run rampant of late, with multiple daily reports emerging since PSG’s last-16 exit from the UEFA Champions League. The Spanish press has done most of the speculating, with AS at the forefront. Marco Ruiz of that outlet even suggested a €400 million price tag―roughly £353 million―has already been set.
His father, Neymar Sr., acts as his agent, and he recently told reporters his son has a future in the French capital beyond the summer, per Sebastian Vargas Rozo of Sport. PSG have also maintained he’s not going anywhere, but those statements have not stopped the rumour mill from spinning.
Neymar’s time in France has been filled with controversy both on and off the pitch. COPA90 US took a look at how things have played out, noting controversy is nothing new for the Brazil international:
A summer move stills seems unlikely, but it is not out of the question. PSG’s project is ambitious, led by Oryx Qatar Sports Investments and its deep pockets, and the club is not just going to give up its star player after one season.
PSG smashed the transfer record to bring him to Paris and would hold out for a significantly larger fee than the £200 million they paid for Neymar in negotiations with the likes of Madrid. Money isn’t a problem for Les Parisiens, and even Los Blancos may not have enough of a budget to convince them to sell the forward.
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An eventual move seems likely, however, and it could come as early as 2019. The PSG fans have turned on Neymar several times this season, and if that relationship continues to deteriorate, it won’t be long before he openly asks for a transfer.
A new and improved contract could help persuade him to stick around a little longer, although upgrading his deal this soon after he joined could set a bad precedent.
PSG purchased Neymar with an eye on conquering Europe, where the club―and the winger―fell well short of expectations this term. Rewarding a relatively disappointing campaign with a better deal wouldn’t look good, but then again, it might be worth it if it keeps Neymar in Paris a little longer.