"Neymar will be very important at Real Madrid next year"

Former Real Madrid player Paul Breitner raised eyebrows with the comment during an appearance on German television.
USA vs Mexico: FIFA Friendly live online

"Neymar will be very important for Real Madrid next year"

"Neymar will be very important at Real Madrid next year." Former Real player Paul Breitner this week raised eyebrows with these words while debating the future of Robert Lewandowski, and the striker's desire to leave Bayern Munich for Los Blancos, on German television (per La Sexta). The Germany legend's comment comes just days after he visited the Spanish capital to attend Real's Champions League semi-final second leg with Bayern, as a guest of the Bernabéu club.

Real Madrid targeting the PSG and Brazil star

Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record 222m euros last summer, has emerged as a major close-season target for Real Madrid's president, Florentino Pérez, with the European champions' initial overtures in recent months even leading to a meeting with the Brazilian's camp in Paris, at which Real representatives were told that a 400m-euro fee would persuade PSG to sell.

The former Barcelona and Santos player is fed up with life in Ligue 1, with his advisers making it known to the media that he is tired of the aggressive tactics of opposition players (and referees' leniency with this), the poor condition of away pitches, and the requirement at PSG that the squad join up to stay overnight at a hotel on the eve of every match.

The injury that Neymar suffered in February has also not helped relations between the 26-year-old and PSG. Although the decision was finally taken to operate on his broken foot, club chiefs are said to have been unhappy with leaks to the press by his close circle - in advance of a crunch meeting between PSG, Neymar and Brazil national-team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar to agree on how to treat his fractured metatarsal - that he had already chosen to have surgery. It was seen as an attempt to put pressure on his employers over the decision.

What's more, Neymar has undergone his post-surgery rehabilitation in Brazil rather than in Paris (returning to the French capital in recent days), a move that has annoyed fans of the Ligue 1 winners, who have had to watch on as the player posted light-hearted photos and videos on social media while his team was dumped out of the Champions League...

Real aiming to complete Neymar deal before World Cup

Real are out to take advantage of this state of affairs and secure Neymar's signature. As was reported by AS in March, they aim to seal an agreement to sign the star before the World Cup begins in mid-June. Neymar's father has told representatives of the LaLiga giants that it will not be a straightforward deal but, nevertheless, many now expect the forward to pull on the white shirt next season.