The Red Devils were strongly linked with their former player Cristiano Ronaldo after reports of a £13 million tax fraud came to the limelight, and the Portuguese expressed his will to move out of Spain. It is understood that the forward wanted to leave Real Madrid because the Spanish tax authorities accused him of conning them.
However, contrary reports from Diario Gol now suggest that Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has a preference for Neymar over Ronaldo as the prime transfer target for the English club, as the relationship between Cristiano and Mourinho went sour during the latter’s tenure at Real Madrid.
Neymar, who is just 25, has enthralled the Camp Nou audience ever since he joined the Barcelona squad back in 2013. The Catalan club has featured him in the first team ever since, and he is now a solid part of the forward ‘MSN’ trio – Messi, Suarez, and Neymar.
In the 186 appearances he has made for the Blaugrana ever since he moved from Santos, he has already scored 109 goals at the top level.
A preference for Neymar over Cristiano as a transfer target might be more than just the relationship of the player with the manager. If Manchester United were to place a bid for either of the players, they would have to shell out a gigantic £170 million for the Brazilian forward in contrast to £130 million for Cristiano Ronaldo.
But, the key difference lies in the playable age left – Neymar is just 25 and has well over 10 years left in his career, whilst Cristiano is already 32 years old.
On a realistic scale, the move for Neymar seems highly unlikely, as United are heavily linked with another forward in Morata, and it is understood that the deal for the Spaniard has progressed a lot. On the other hand, Neymar only recently signed a new 5-year contract with the Catalan team, and hence, seems unlikely to make a move.
Jose Mourinho, who has often been cited on his transfer interests, has grown frustrated this season, and has explained that he has given his requirements to Ed Woodward, who has completely taken charge of the transfer market at Old Trafford.
He told BT Sport (via The Indepenent): “Ed Woodward has my analysis, has what I want, what I would like for more than two months. Now it’s for him, now for the owners and the people who work with him [to sort], so I just wait. But I don’t care about football for now.”
Written by Srivats Venkateswaran
Sports writer with a long experience of writing in football.Was football team head at EssentiallySports. Still deeply misses Sir Alex and Berbatov at United. An introvert at heart with a poetic hand. Engineer by choice, writer by passion.