Neymar not an expensive buy, says Mourinho
By James, Michael Igiri
Lionel Messi bid farewell to Neymar on Wednesday after the Brazilian striker told
him and other Barcelona teammates he was leaving, saying it was a “huge pleasure” to
have played with him, AFP reports.
This came amidst the announcement by the Catalan giants on Wednesday that Neymar
wanted to leave after weeks of intense speculation, taking the 25-year- old closer to a
potential world record move to Paris Saint-Germain.
“It was a huge pleasure having shared all those years with you, my friend
@neymarjr,” Messi wrote on Instagram next to a montage of pictures of both football
stars high-fiving, embracing or laughing.
“I wish you lots of luck in this new stage in your life. See you soon tkm,” he added.
“Tkm” stands for “te quiero mucho” (I love you loads).
“Thanks brother. I will miss you man,” Neymar replied on Instagram after agreeing a
personal 5-yr deal that would see his become the most expensive transfer in
professional football history yet.
Speculation over Neymar’s future has dominated the first few weeks of new Barca
boss Ernesto Valverde’s reign as the player was linked to some European club giants
including Manchester Utd, Man City and the French side, PSG. By Wednesday
evening however, the French giants agreed a deal with Barcelona which has
effectively laid to rest speculations about the future of the 25yr-old who could be
unveiled as early as the weekend.
Meanwhile, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said Wednesday he does not
believe the record-shattering 222 million euro ($260 million) transfer fee Paris St
Germain are willing to pay for Neymar is expensive.
Speaking after his side beat Sampdoria 2-1 in Dublin in a pre-season friendly, the reds
boss is however concerned how the staggering figure will affect future transfers.
Although Mourinho shelled out 105.2 million euros ($111 million) last summer to re-
sign their former midfielder Paul Pogba from Juventus, the French outfit have doubled
that record in order to bring the Brazilian from Barcelona.
“When we signed Paul Pogba, I said he was not expensive,” Mourinho said.
“Expensive are the ones that get to a certain level without a certain quality. I don’t
think £200 million for Neymar is expensive.
“Expensive is the fact there will now be more players at £100m, more players at
£50m, more players at £60m — that’s the problem.
“Neymar is one of the best players in the world, so commercially that is very strong
but the problem is not Neymar — the problem is the consequences.”
Mourinho was speaking after a late Juan Mata goal gave his United team victory in
their final pre-season game, after a Dennis Praet strike had cancelled out Henrikh
Mkhitaryan’s first half goal.
The win puts United in a confident mood ahead of next Tuesday’s UEFA Super Cup
clash with Real Madrid in Macedonia.
Mourinho revealed the club are likely to appeal the two-game European ban handed to
Phil Jones for verbally abusing anti-doping officials after the Europa League final win
“Put yourself in his position. He wins a European cup and wants to celebrate with his
“He wants to get the cup, the medal and be in the pictures but one doctor wants to
close him in a small room because of the doping control” He said.
“It’s very hard to control a player in this situation and UEFA should consider this. It’s
not a normal match — it’s a cup, a medal, a celebration. It’s everything.
“There was no wrongdoing in his behaviour, just a human desire to celebrate. I feel
really sorry for him and I don’t think it’s fair.
“I would (appeal) if I was him. If you do that you have the risk of even more
punishment but it’s a decision I will leave with him” He concluded.