Man Utd have already rejected Neymar swap deal as Jassim ‘eyes deal’

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Manchester United will reportedly attempt to bring Neymar to Old Trafford if Sheikh Jassim succeeds with his takeover bid. The Paris Saint-Germain star would certainly be an exciting arrival to the Premier League, having dazzled over the course of his career so far. However, the club previously rejected a swap deal for the Brazil international back in the summer transfer window of 2019 – meaning there’s no guarantee a switch will happen.

On Friday, it emerged Sheikh Jassim was determined to make Neymar the poster boy of his Old Trafford era providing he’s successful in ousting the Glazers.

It’s easy to see why, with the PSG star long being regarded as one of the best players in the whole of world football.

However, United have previously turned down Neymar for financial reasons. And while Sheikh Jassim has money in abundance, the reasons of the past are still valid now.

In 2019, The Independent reported that PSG had eyed a swap deal that would have seen Neymar move to the Premier League and Paul Pogba had in the opposite direction.

Pogba was wanting to leave the Red Devils at the time, having endured a difficult time in his career under Jose Mourinho.

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And though Mourinho had since been replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who landed the job permanently after a successful period as interim boss, that didn’t stop Pogba from eyeing a move away.

However, United snubbed the approach from PSG with two factors behind their thinking.

They apparently felt it would be too costly to sign Neymar, who was thought to be hoping to earn as much as £900,000-a-week in the event of any possible transfer.

It would have broken their wage structure, one that had already been damaged by their decision to make Alexis Sanchez their highest-earner upon landing the Chile international from Arsenal the previous year.

And United also turned down the swap deal proposal because Ed Woodward was keen to keep Pogba at the club.

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Should United try and land Neymar this summer, they’d still have to pay the Samba star the big bucks.

The forward currently earns £616,000-a-week at PSG and it’s hard to see him taking a pay cut, especially given he’s contracted to the Ligue 1 giants until 2025.

Signing Neymar would, on paper, be exciting.

But matching his current salary would risk upsetting a United dressing room that has been unified under Erik ten Hag since his summer appointment.

Neymar’s injury record makes him a risky signing, too.

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Though he often produces on the pitch – the 31-year-old has scored 18 goals in 29 appearances this season – the attacker has been plagued with issues during his time in France.

Neymar has been restricted to just 173 matches since moving to PSG for a world-record fee of £200million back in 2017.

And while he’d sell shirts, and bring a new dimension to Ten Hag’s attack, his arrival would certainly represent a gamble.

With regards to Sheikh Jassim, things should become clearer at United and a potential takeover in the coming days.

The Qatari billionaire is confident his bid for the club will be successful, despite whispers the Glazers could end up staying.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also targeting a United takeover – and could even let the Glazers keep a 20 per cent stake in the club.

Fans are set to protest against the current United owners when the Red Devils lock horns with Aston Villa on Sunday (2pm).

And Ten Hag has opened up ahead of that showdown, admitting his side are short of centre-backs with Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane all battling for fitness.

“We have to look from game to game and now we have to focus on Villa and see what’s the best against Villa,” said the 53-year-old.

“But we don’t have so many options in that position.

“Already a left full-back like Luke is doing great now as a left centre-back.”

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