It could be the blockbuster signing of the summer and, were it to happen, Newcastle United might not need to pay anywhere close to what they may have originally thought it would cost to bring Neymar to St. James’ Park.
The world class Brazilian remains injured at present, but he is definitely on the market and, it appears, Paris Saint-Germain are getting desperate.
‘With Neymar, PSG have been open to letting him go for more than a year,’ senior journalist, Jonathan Johnson, wrote in his exclusive CaughtOffside Substack.
‘It was the case last summer but nobody came in for him based on his form and the potential costs attached to the move. I’d also say with Neymar that him moving on looks doubtful again this summer, because until he actually plays again after his injury – let’s not forget he’s also undergone surgery (that I believed could’ve happened when he first arrived at PSG in 2017 and something that was long overdue) – and shows he’s capable of getting back to something resembling his best, I think PSG are basically hoping for some sort of miracle offer from Saudi Arabia.’
90Min linked Neymar with a move to the north east giants back in early May, and whilst a move to Saudi Arabia could be financially lucrative, Newcastle’s owners, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) aren’t thought to be short of a bob or two themselves.
As long as his salary expectations can be matched, it appears that there may be a way in which a deal could be negotiated to the satisfaction of all parties.
‘I think most European clubs will bear in mind what they’ve seen from him in terms of form, the regular injuries recently and probably look at wanting some solid proof before they stump up any potential money,’ Johnson continued.
‘That’s why PSG are perhaps open to letting him go out on loan with an option or obligation to buy, which wasn’t the case last summer.’
Clearly, the excitement that Neymar would bring to the St. James’ Park terraces would be nothing like they’ve ever seen before.
However, as has been noted, he has been injury prone, hasn’t always seen eye to eye with team-mates and comes with baggage.
For a manager like Eddie Howe who appears to studiously consider every aspect before making a signing, the ‘extras’ that come with signing a player of that magnitude may be the thing that ultimately stops the Magpies signing on the dotted line.
Having done so well in 2022/23, the last thing that Howe and his backroom staff need is for team equilibrium to become unbalanced.