Stick or twist?

Neymar has been the star of preseason for Barcelona.
Neymar has been the star of preseason for Barcelona. / EFE
  • a look at laliga

  • Interest in Neymar and Mbappé is plentiful, but would they be better off staying put?

We can discount Messi as he’s signed a new deal at Barcelona, Ronaldo’s posturing lasted a couple of weeks until Real Madrid appeared to call his bluff. So where do the media turn next to overdose on speculation?

Will Neymar head to Paris? Is Kylian Mbappé going to be the next ‘galáctico’?

Call it click-bait, claim it sells newspapers, it spices up sports bulletins… Get the name of a football superstar into your story and it seems you have found the formula.

Neymar is only too happy to be in the spotlight, even if it appears that he was nudged there by his handlers. For me, the only loser in the saga would be the player himself who would be down-grading clubs in his pursuit of becoming the headline act.

It would be brilliant for Paris Saint-Germain if they could spring his 222-million-euro buy-out clause. The football world would be in awe of the French club.

It would be beneficial to his advisor (well, his father) who could command a commission of 40 million euros. It’s an incredible amount of money for doing very little.

I don’t think Barcelona would be too upset if Neymar took his dancing boots to France. In truth, the Brazilian is third on the billing behind Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez. His stats are impressive, but don’t compare to the Argentinian and Uruguayan and if the ridiculous price was triggered, it would give them wiggle room when it comes to FFP.

I don’t pretend to understand Financial Fair Play (does anyone?) but I do know that it’s all to do with the equation of players’ wages to club income. So off-load one of your highest earners and rake in an astronomical fee and the FFP becomes less of an issue at the Camp Nou. Maybe then they could bring in Philippe Coutinho for about a third of the price.

Kylian Mbappé.

Kylian Mbappé. / EFE

If I was the advisor to Neymar, I’d say stay at Barça and play with and against the best; but his advisor is in for a windfall if he heads to Paris!

The trend is to invest in “the next big thing” and it does appear that Kylian Mbappé IS “the next big thing”; he’s only a teenager but his impact with Monaco last season captured headlines. His contract runs to 2019 so speculation is rife. Monaco claim they are in negotiations for a new deal, but the wonder kid has suitors who are not ringing the front door-bell, more whistling at his bedroom window!

Anyone who has dealt with a teenager knows that moods can change, so it’s a brave president who gambles 180 million on an 18-year-old.

In contrast to Neymar, this may be a deal that benefits all. Monaco cash in on a talent, Real invest in a potential superstar, the agent gets rich! It would probably be in the interests of all parties for Mbappé to stay in the French Ligue for one more season to develop his game.

Hopefully soon the speculation will be cast aside and we can concentrate on the actual football!