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Reports: When Manchester United almost beat PSG to the signing of Neymar

Neymar could have been a Manchester United player.


Neymar
Neymar was close to moving to Manchester United

What's the story?

Manchester United almost beat Paris Saint-Germain to the signing of Neymar from Barcelona, according to the Sun. Manchester United are touted to be long term admirers of the Brazilian and the report says that the club chiefs negotiated a £196 million deal to sign the Barcelona man last summer. 

However, the Brazilian national team captain elected to stay at the Camp Nou. 

In case you didn't know...

Neymar is set to move to France after Paris Saint-Germain decided to meet the Brazil international's £196 million release clause. Barcelona, in a statement yesterday, admitted that Neymar has asked to leave the club. 

The statement read: "The player Neymar Jr, accompanied by his father and agent, has informed FC Barcelona this morning of his decision to leave the club in a meeting held at the club’s offices".

The heart of the matter

Manchester United's pursuit of Neymar shouldn't raise a lot of eyebrows given the English giants have been constantly on the lookout for marquee signings. Given his global appeal, the former Santos man falls right into that category. 

The 25-year-old is undoubtedly one of the world's best players, and as Jose Mourinho admitted in his press conference yesterday, "Expensive are the ones who get into a certain level without a certain quality... For £200m, I don't think (Neymar) is expensive".

What's next?

Neymar's impending move to Paris might be a blessing in disguise for Manchester United, as it would take the tag of 'most expensive player in the world' off the back of Paul Pogba. For Neymar, the price tag won't make much of a difference, given he has been the talisman of his country for half a decade now. 

His move will also propel the French giants to become one of the favourites for the Champions League title, especially given the players they have at their disposal. However, given the circumstances, it will be interesting to see how the French giants compromise in the market to avoid sanctions pertaining to the Financial Fair Play.

Author's take

The fact that Manchester United are in the market for a winger this season underlines how big a transfer for Neymar could have proven to be for the 20-time English League winners. But, given the fact that they were competing in the Europa League last year, it shouldn't come as a surprise to many that the 25-year-old elected to stay at Barcelona. 

Back to the present and Ivan Persic then?

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