Neymar: a 500-million-euro bet

With Barcelona getting closer to a deal, we look at the huge financial outlay signing Neymar would require.


The problem that Ernesto Valverde will have if Barcelona sign Neymar - working out where to play him alongside his other stars - will look like child's play compared to the problems the accounts department at Barcelona will have dealing with the costs of an operation that could cost somewhere in the region of 500 million euros, all told.

Neymar: 170 million euro transfer fee

The deal to bring Neymar back to the Camp Nou looks like involving a 170 million euro transfer fee to PSG, which Barça hope to pay in two instalments, 85 now, 85 at the end of next season (which would fall to the next president, with Josep María Bartomeu being unable to stand for re-election - some inheritance).

Neymar left the club in part to develop his career out of the shadow of Messi, but mainly for cash - he was earning 22 million at the Camp Nou which rose to 37 when he signed his new deal in Paris. So it seems strange he would lower his salary demands upon a move back, but the truth appears to be that he will accept something of a wage cut to get away from PSG. Even so, if he earns 30 million net a year, that translates into around the 60 million gross mark for the club, with his taxes taken into account. A five-year deal means 300 million euros to add to the 170 million euro transfer fee - 470 million euros in total.

Add on commissions and other costs - yes, just like the ones that were eventually revealed in the "57 million euros and no more" on his original signing by Barcelona that led to Sandro Rosell's resignation and the club found guilty, we're looking at around 500 million euros for the signing of the Brazilian star.

A huge operation and one which seems difficult to accept for a club that's admitted it had to take out a loan to sign Griezmann and which couldn't complete the signing of Junior from Betis until they'd sold Malcom. And that's without considering that Griezmann could end up costing Barça another 80 million if Atlético Madrid win their battle over his signing.

Barcelona's debt

Catalan radio station RAC 1 reported yesterday that Barcelona already have another loan lined up to cope with the costs of the Neymar deal, which would add to the financing burden of the club. Just as an outline of the situation, at 30 June 2018, Barcelona had long-term debt of 189 million euros and 492 million euros of short-term debt - if Neymar joins the club the accounts department's headaches will multiply.

The Catalan club right now has disproportionate salary costs, spending 62% if its budget of 960 million euros on first team wages - 595 million euros in total. UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations set an upper limit of 70%, meaning Barça are near the upper bound, but not yet in a critical situation. Neymar's signing would likely send that percentage soaring.