The Manchester clubs have been given some encouragement in their pursuit of Neymar by Guillem Balague revealing that Barcelona may not be able to afford to keep the Brazilian.
Respected Spanish journalist Ballague has claimed that Barca do not currently have the financial resources to offer new contracts to Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.
And Neymar, who has been linked with mega-money moves to both Manchester United and Manchester City, appears the most likely of the prolific attacking trident to leave.
Ballague has confirmed that Neymar’s preference is to sign an extension to his current Camp Nou deal, which expires in the summer of 2018, but is keeping his options open.
“Barcelona cannot afford to give new contracts to Lionel Messi, Suarez and Neymar as it stands – financially they do not have the power to do so,” Ballague wrote in his Sky Sports column.
“They need to bring a lot of money in, if they do that they will be able to keep them, but if they don’t they may have to get rid of one. That’s why Neymar keeps leaving the door open for United and others.
“The priority is to renew his contract with Barcelona but no option has been discounted.”
Man United reportedly made a £140m bid for Neymar, who was a Ballon d’Or finalist for the first time in 2016, last summer and retain an interest in making him their marquee signing.
And the appointment of Pep Guardiola at Man City for next season has also put them in the frame. The 24-year-old forward has admitted his desire to work under the Spanish tactician.
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