Last summer Manchester United spent a remarkable £250m on new players but the biggest revelation was their inability to convince Neymar to join despite meeting his €190m buy-out clause set by Barcelona.
The Red Devils were undergoing transition with manager Louis van Gaal who got them back into the UEFA Champions League and needed a marquee signing to lift the confidence of the dressing room.
He identified the Brazilian as a major impact player but Ed Woodward did not deliver the former Santos star who has now formed a remarkable bond playing alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez – currently referred to as the deadliest attack in world football.
However, United’s confidence for wanting to sign the player comes from the fact that Neymar Jr and his father are currently in a Spanish court to defend allegations of corruption and fraud surrounding the player’s transfer to FC Barcelona three years ago from Santos.
Barcelona claimed it paid €57m (£43m) for Neymar in 2013 but investigators say the fee was closer to €83m and Barcelona concealed part of the deal – an allegation the Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell both denied any wrongdoing of.
The Catalan club claimed that Neymar’s parents received €40m and his former club, Santos, was paid €17m.
So the Red Devils were hoping to capitalize on the situation and take the player to Old Trafford as they sense that the player may find life at the Nou Camp depressing.
But, is Neymar the kind of player that will lift Manchester United? Would he had excelled in the Premier League if the €190m deal was successful? Was it just an act of desperation on the part of United or serious ambition to get the club back to its glory days?
Neymar could’ve become one of the most important players at Old Trafford considering how their season had gone so far. Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney have carried the goalscoring burden of the team and Neymar could’ve set the league alight with his tricky and goals.
The bid from United showed ambition but it was born out of desperation as they were in need of a genuine world class addition to the team.
The debate of whether to leave or stay in Spain will rage on in the summer transfer window as Neymar’s future at Barcelona remains uncertain and Manchester United continue to show interest but is he really worth €190m?
Neymar is surely a pure genius with the ball at his feet and already tipped to win the FIFA Ballon D’Or crown in the nearest future, one United fans will love to see at Old Trafford and wouldn’t mind the executive’s desperation in paying a huge cash for him because they feel he guarantees success.