Neymar is negotiating with Real Madrid, as we learned on the front cover of Diario AS on Wednesday. The PSG attacker has been chatting with Real Madrid while he recovers from injury in his native Brazil and was seen with los Blancos' new boy, Vinicius Jnr. He wants to leave Ligue 1 just a year after PSG spent a world record €222 million to acquire his services from Barcelona. It won't be an easy transfer, or a cheap one, as PSG want €260 million as they had to pay his wages for a year for, ultimately, half a year's worth of football. The five most important people in any potential deal are:
It's no secret: Florentino Perez dreams about the signing of Neymar. The Brazilian is an old dream of the president of Real Madrid and it might be a mutual feeling. The first approach for Neymar came 12 years ago when he was a kid and trained at Valdebebas for two weeks and was set to sign for €60,000. Five years later, Real Madrid were close again, but a €40 million payment to Neymar's father from Barcelona pushed him in the direction of the Camp Nou. Pérez has spoken about Neymar before and says he has a better chance to win the balon d'Or at Real Madrid. Florentino has re-opened the Neymar file and has started making moves to sign the player.
The Brazilian is key because, well, a player plays where he wants to play and he'll find a way to get there. He is tired of Ligue 1 and has already stated, "it feels like I have been here for five years." Neymar has reportedly complained about the refereeing, the poor state of opponents' fields, the violence shown by opponents and the obligation to stay in a hotel the night before a game. Unai Emery, the PSG coach, said Neymar is "not installed 100 percent in Paris" and that he has to "adapt to Paris, to his teammates and not just Brazilians." The crack from canarinha, who returned to Paris last Friday to continue his recovery with the only objective being to make the World Cup. But as AS reported this Wednesday, depending on the player, he could play the last game against Marseille, the same game he broke his foot in earlier in the year.
Behind every single movement by Neymar is Neymar Senior, his Father. This Thursday, French publication Libération reported that he has activated the exit strategy from PSG for his son, entrusting his agent Pini Zahavi in the details, who already sent Neymar to PSG last summer. The contacts between Real Madrid and Neymar Senior start of this year even though he acted as though everything was normal with Al-Khelaifi, the president, who visited Neymar's foundation in Brazil. He went on to settle nerves in Paris by saying "Neymar has a future at PSG". 11 days after, according to Libéraction, he ordered Zahavi to set in motion the departure of Neymar from the club.
Zahavi is an Israeli intermediary, who "has carved himself a reputation as a tough negotiator and an expert at securing moves for under-contract players." He already played a role in Neymar's Barcelona exit and pocketed himself a cool €12 million in fees in the process, according to L'Equipe. He is also Robert Lewandowski's new agent as speculation surrounding the Polish striker's future increases. This is the mission that Zahavi has on his plate over the next couple of months. He already held a meeting with Neymar's representatives to get a hypotethical figure as to what it would take for him to sign on at the Santiago Bernabeu. The intermediary is the key in this deal.
Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
Taim bin Hamad al-Thani is the Sheikh of Qatar and owner of PSG. He is the great obstacle facing Real Madrid. Under no circumstances will he allow the star of a rising project to jump ship after one year when he had spent €222 million on getting the player in the first place. This is especially important given Real Madrid knocked PSG out of the Champions League and would just add insult to injury. He has Thomas Tuchel in place to take over the project but needs everyone on board and losing Neymar would be a massive blow. He is the man Real Madrid need to convince to sell and at a reasonable price.