Rather strange speculation began last week about a potential move to Manchester United for Brazilian superstar Neymar.
The forward missed Barcelona’s opening La Liga 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao, as former-Liverpool star Luis Suarez grabbed the only goal of the game.
His absence was not suspicious though, as he has only just returned to full training after recovering from mumps.
However rumours continue to do the rounds that Neymar could move on this summer, with United mooted as a possible destination.
Barcelona boss Luis Enrique yesterday refused to talk about the speculation, telling press: “It doesn’t interest me to talk about rumours, nor these types of situations. I only want to focus on what’s happened to my team.”
The Guardian are claiming that the 23-year-old is open to a move to Manchester United, which would seem strange at this moment in time. There are a few theories and one of those is that speculation could force Barcelona into giving the Brazilian a wage rise.
One of the other theories is that he would simply get a bigger wage packet with the Premier League club. Basically both are related to the Brazilians bank balance. However surely there must a more another reason for the forward to consider a move elsewhere?
For most teams in the world Neymar would be their stand-out player. The go-to guy, just like he is in the Brazil national team. However at Barcelona it is rather different, because every takes a back seat to Lionel Messi in the Catalan capital.
It is difficult to argue with Messi’s supremacy at the European champions. He is quite simply one of the best players the game has ever seen. Neymar found it hard living in the Argentinian’s shadow in his debut campaign at the Nou Camp.
However, last season he seemed to be more accepting of Messi’s status and suddenly he found top form for the Catalan giants, scoring 32 goals in all competitions and producing seven assists. He forged a deadly trio with Messi and Luis Suarez.
The trio are believed to also have a good relationship off the pitch, so maybe Neymar has realised that there is no point competing for top billing at Barcelona, because there is only ever going to be one headline act at the Nou Camp.
Neymar is not exactly a small fish in a big pond at Barcelona, but he will never be Lionel Messi and that could be causing the Brazilian doubts about his future in the Catalan capital.
The former-Santos star is the sort of extrovert character that thrives on being the main man, although last season proved he does not need to be centre stage to have a successful campaign.
Maybe he would enjoy being the star attraction at another big European club and having all the attention on him, rather than just playing a supporting role to his majestic Argentinian teammate.
Manchester United are a club making steady progress under veteran Dutch boss Louis van Gaal and are likely to be back among the Premier League title favourites in the next couple of seasons, if not this season.
If he was to move, then the English top-flight and Manchester United would certainly not be the worst place him could end up.
The Red Devils currently look like they are in need of extra fire-power with captain Wayne Rooney going through a dry spell in front of goal and no doubt he would be a fantastic signing for United.
It seems unlikely that Neymar will leave Barcelona anytime soon though. He is a key part of the European champion’s team and played a major part in their Champions League victory last season. The Brazilian also has three years left on his contract with the Spanish club.
Neymar looked extremely happy playing alongside fellow South American’s Suarez and Messi last season, as the Catalan giants blow away opponents at home and abroad.
There was no sign of discontent from the Brazilian last season, so unless something has happened behind the scenes since then, it seems unlikely that he would want to leave Barcelona this summer.
As we all know anything is possible in football. This summer seems to have illustrated that with some of the new arrivals at Premier League clubs.
With the transfer deadline looming the rumour mill has gone into overdrive and strange rumours do tend to circulate. However for me I cannot see Neymar pulling on a Manchester United shirt this season.
Is Neymar to Manchester United a possibility?