Let me make this very clear. No club can afford Neymar Jr. this transfer window. Not FC Barcelona. Not Real Madrid. Not Real Salt Lake.
However, this hasn’t stopped our friends in the media from fabricating stories about the Paris Saint-Germain superstar plotting his great escape from the French capital.
The latest comes from Le Figaro (via Sport), who “report” that the dressing room is split between those who want to go along with the club’s recommendation of reducing player salaries (70 percent) and those who don’t. Neymar is supposedly in the camp that doesn’t want to see a reduction and that stance apparently is an indication that he wants to force a transfer back to Barcelona.
The reason the club would like the players to voluntarily forgo some of their wages is due to the coronavirus, which is expected to have a financial impact that could cost the club upwards of €200 million.
According to the report out of France, Neymar is joined by Thiago Silva, Edinson Cavani, Juan Bernat, and Ander Herrera in those who want to continue collecting their paycheck or possibly postpone their wages until the pandemic is relatively over when they can receive a refund.
Even if you were to believe this report, it’s hard to stretch Neymar’s stance on his personal finances as a reason why he would try and force his way out of PSG.
Let’s assume the story is true and Neymar doesn’t want to reduce his wages. We don’t know what bills he has. He’s 28-years-old and came from nothing. He probably has the mindset of earning as much as possible while he can.
Remember, he’s been injury-prone the past few seasons and it’s not like he can earn the kind of money he does now well into his 60s.
Sure, Neymar earns an estimated €3.06 million per month but he also has a lot going out. Those luxury estates in Brazil aren’t free to run. In addition to living a lavish lifestyle, he gives away a lot of his money and helps those in need.
Would it be a nice gesture for Neymar and the rest of the team to agree to reduce their wages? I think so. But it’s a decision they have to make and I certainly don’t think that Neymar’s “refusal” is an indication that he wants to leave.
Back to my original point. No club can afford Neymar even if he wanted to leave. He’s under contract with PSG until 2022 and the Ligue 1 champions would want close to €150 million for the player. The financial impact of the coronavirus simply makes a deal like that impossible.