Jose Mourinho is not a man who says things to get in the headlines.
Said no one ever.
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With Neymar edging closer to a world-record $262 million transfer to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona, Manchester United’s manager has openly, and bluntly, shared his thoughts on the current transfer market throughout much of this summer.
Speaking after Man United’s victory against Sampdoria in Dublin on Wednesday, the final game of their preseason tour which consisted of seven games in three countries, Mourinho shared his thoughts on the huge transfer fee for Neymar with the forward set to make over $53.4 million a year in wages after tax.
“Expensive are the ones who get into a certain level without a certain quality. For £200m, I don’t think [Neymar] is expensive,” Mourinho said. “I think he’s expensive in the fact that now you are going to have more players at £100m, you are going have more players at £80m and more players at £60m. And I think that’s the problem. Neymar is one of the best players in the world, commercially he is very strong and for sure PSG thought about it. So I think the problem is not Neymar, I think the problem is the consequences of Neymar.”
Actually, he has a point.
Just like Man United did when they signed Paul Pogba from Juventus for a world-record fee of $123.3 million (pocket change for PSG…) last summer, the French giants have paid for the commercial machine which is Neymar as well as his quality on the pitch.
Sure, Brazil’s captain will score 30 goals and added 15 assists in Ligue 1 as well as potentially helping them reach at least the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League, but his value off the pitch means Les Parisiens could recoup a large part of their initial investment.
Neymar will spend his prime in Paris and the Qatari owners have done all they can to make it happen, even if UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules will be scrutinized heavily around this deal for many months to come.
The ripples from this deal are quite severe as the domino effect could see Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Kylian Mbappe and others head towards Barcelona, meaning there is now an influx of cash for their clubs to spend and so the cycle goes on and on.
Take Liverpool, for example. If Barca do offer over $130 million for Coutinho, as has been reported, then all of a sudden they are backed into a corner when buying a replacement. Everyone knows they have plenty of cash coming in and clubs like RB Leipzig and Southampton will be licking their lips when it comes to selling Naby Keita and Virgil Van Dijk respectively.
It’s a vicious circle and this deal for Neymar will send shockwaves through an already record-breaking summer of transfer deals.
This deal doesn’t directly or indirectly impact Mourinho, but he wants you to know how he feels about it.