Do your due diligence

Neymar brings with him talent, but also a lot of baggage.
Neymar brings with him talent, but also a lot of baggage. / EFE
  • Barcelona and Real Madrid know exactly what Neymar is like; but that doesn't seem to be putting them off

Any multi-million business deal is dependent on a due diligence investigation, so I wonder just what on earth Real Madrid and Barcelona are playing at?

Neymar is loving being the centre of attention as the two Spanish giants play tug-of-war over the errant Brazilian.

Barcelona must be forgetting the way he flounced off to Paris in 2017, last seen throwing down a training bib in Miami after a juicy challenge from Nélson Semedo. Maybe he's changed?

Well, actually no; he's just refused to go on his current club's trip to China and he's engineered a move away from the French capital.

He can leave PSG with his head held high though, right? Not exactly! He's only started four games since the end of January and in one of those, the cup final, he attacked a Rennes fan to earn a three-game ban. The club have stopped selling his merchandise in the club shops.

The French fans held banners non-too-politely demanding "get lost Neymar". He won't really be lost as he's familiar with the city of Barcelona and has an entourage to help him settle in if his destination is Madrid.

He's not expressed a preference either way. His dad Neymar Senior is overseeing the negotiations. When Junior left the Camp Nou there were still a few vagaries which resulted in both parties issuing lawsuits. That also seems to be forgotten?

Are you getting the pattern? There's always baggage with Neymar, lots of baggage. When he signed for Barça there were suitcases for the thirty people who accompanied him to the unveiling in a private jet.

It also seems that to make the deal happen the coaches must upset and unsettle current stars. Neither president is going to sanction a deal similar to the 222 million euros that changed hands in 2017 so there has to be some swap dealing.

Ivan Rakitić may be upset that he could be a makeweight. A story doing the rounds is that PSG want Philippe Coutinho, Nélson Semedo plus 120 million euros. So there's three players who will be unsettled.

It's the same in Madrid where Isco, Marcelo and Vinícius Júnior may not be too impressed with being suggested as to offset the finance? Gareth Bale and James Rodríguez are used to it.

As Real Madrid haven't signed a true Galáctico in five years Florentino Pérez is eager to capture global attention with a marquee signing. If he does get his man now how does that make Eden Hazard feel? The Belgian was expecting to be the most coveted acquisition of the summer yet he's completely overshadowed.

Besides, I'm not sure Neymar would actually get into the Barcelona team on merit. Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and new boy Antoine Griezmann are a formidable force. I have a sneaky feeling they're claiming interest to hike the price up and create further unrest at the Bernabéu.

Before the transfer deadline on 2 September there's a lot of small print to wade through. I'd love to know if there really is a clause that allows him the week off for his sister's birthday. For the past five years an injury or suspension has coincided with her big day. This year 11 March is a week for the Champions League last 16 fixtures, as well as Rafaella's bash.

I'm sure the lawyers will be doing their due diligence and know this, or maybe not?