It never ceases to amaze me the lengths that Real Madrid will go to just to get one over or make things more difficult for Barcelona at any given opportunity. Reports are emerging about their interest in Neymar and possible plans for next Summer, and it could continue to undermine Barca.
According to Sport, Real Madrid did have some interest in Neymar this Summer but they took a fairly passive approach to negotiations because their true aim is to sign Kylian Mbappe next year instead.
If they do manage to sign the French star it could have big ramifications for Barcelona in a couple of ways.
Mbappe is seen as one of the great players in world football so there’s no doubting he would improve Zinedine Zidane’s side. Signing such an established star would put Barcelona on edge as they might feel they need to improve to match their rivals.
That could complicate Barca’s chase for Neymar. PSG are unlikely to let both of their star players leave in the same transfer window so it might block the Brazilian getting a return to Spain, or at least drive his price up a bit further.
Other clubs could also become aware of Barca’s need to outdo their biggest rivals at any opportunity and push up their asking prices for any of their players if the Catalans need to find an alternative plan to Neymar.
Real Madrid are known for playing the long game when it comes to transfer targets. The report goes on to suggest that they know Mbappe’s contract is due to expire in 2022, so if they don’t get him next year they will have leverage in negotiations for the year after as his contract will be running down.