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Reports: Barcelona willing to sell superstar due to non-footballing reasons

Will Barcelona really break up the fabled Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar Jr. (MSN) trio due to a non-football reason?

What’s the story?

Reports emerging out of Barcelona suggest that the board is extremely displeased with the off-field lifestyle of Neymar Jr. and are willing to sell him to the highest bidder. This comes as a shock considering how well Neymar has been playing and his outrageous understanding with strike partners Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. The Brazilian has notched up 19 goals and 19 assists in all competitions this year, and was the cornerstone of Barcelona’s rousing comeback against Paris-Saint Germain in the UEFA Champions League. Neymar’s party lifestyle, various endorsment related travels and tendency to fly back home to Brazil at very short notice has, however put the Catalans on alert as they reportedly want their superstars to maitain focus on the team re-building effort... on the pitch!

In the past...

Barcelona, do, though, have a history of parting ways with players they believe are out of control. Ronaldinho was the most recent example of this ruthless culling of players – despite stature – as he was axed from the Barcelona squad at the peak of his powers. His party life, though, had admittedly got the better of him and it was reported that he rarely turned for training on time.

While no such allegation has been levelled against his compatriot Neymar, the board are still on tenderhooks regarding the same. 

The heart of the matter

The lifestyle issue though, may just be one of several issues working towards influencing Barcelona to sell a player they moved heaven and earth to get. The main reason could well be the dire financial situation that the Catalans find themselves in. In dire of need of doing two main things – resigning Lionel Messi to a long term contract, and rebuilding a woefully poor squad (Real Madrid’s second choice team would simply annihalate Barca’s second choice team if the two ever faced off) – and they lack the funds to do either.

Selling Neymar would surely free up their finances – Manchester United, amongst others, have earlier shown willingness to break the bank to get to the supersar – and as long as they are not selling him to Real Madrid, it wouldn’t affect Barcelona quite as much as not being able to fulfill the two objectives outlined above.

This is further validated in an interview given by ex-Barcelona President Juan Laporta who had said in an earlier interview where he’d stated Barca would never sell Messi:

“For Neymar, it's different. The economic situation of the club is not good, but the current president, to balance the books must sell players or assets. And the best solution is to sell a great player.”

There is also another school of thought that suggests that Neymar’s poor decision making has actually hampered Barcelona’s style of play this season and moving him out would enable the old familiar Barcelona style to flourish once again

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Author’s Take

Neymar was brought to Barcelona as the heir to Messi’s throne. The only problem is Messi has shown no signs of abdicating said throne – nor has he given any reasons to suggest an ouster. This, in my opinion, has left Barcelona in a quandry and while selling Neymar may look preposterously stupid on first look (seriously, who out there can possibly replace the captain of Brazil?) it looks slightly less so when taking into consideration the other angles involved in the equation.

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