With Barcelona and Real Madrid circling, just how much money might it take to tempt Paris Saint-Germain into a sale?
Since Neymar completed his world-record move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, reports have swirled about a potential move back to Spain.
The 26-year-old made a stunning €222 million (£200m/$242m) move to France when PSG matched his release clause with the Camp Nou side, more than doubling the highest transfer fee ever previously paid, which at that time was Manchester United’s €105m swoop for Juventus’ Paul Pogba.
Neymar has had his ups and downs since completing the switch, most notably a foot problem that saw him sidelined for the climax of the 2017-18 season, causing him to miss a Champions League tie against Real Madrid and limiting his ability to perform to his true standard at the 2018 World Cup with Brazil.
Nevertheless, he has scored 45 goals for the Parisian side and added 25 assists all in 50 games.
He remains one of the most coveted players in the game, with rumours consistently linking him with either a return to Barcelona or a move to Real Madrid, where there remains a need to replace Cristiano Ronaldo. Indeed, Goal understands that he is ready to force a move back to Barca under certain conditions, although Andres Iniesta says he cannot see it happening.
Other clubs have also been previously thrown into the equation, too, with Manchester United often cited as a possible destination.
But how much would it take to draw Neymar away from his current employers, where he is under contract until 2022?
What is Neymar’s release clause?
Neymar does not have a release clause in his Paris Saint-Germain contract.
While in Spain each player must have such a fee written into their deal, in France the contrary is true. Indeed, it is illegal for such clauses to be included in contracts.
It is possible that he has a gentleman’s agreement with the board of PSG to allow him to leave if some condition, such as winning the Champions League, is triggered, although such an accord is not legally binding.
How much is Neymar worth?
After signing Neymar for €222m, Paris Saint-Germain would be reticent to allow the player to go for anything less than this value, particularly as his on-field performance has done little to justify any drop in his price.
Away from the park, he continues to be a valuable marketing commodity for the Ligue 1 champions, although just how important will not be revealed until the financial results from last season are published.
Transfermarkt values the Brazilian around the €180m mark, but it seems improbable that PSG would sell at that figure unless under duress.
Meanwhile, the CIES Observatory, who ranked the transfer value of all the footballers in the top leagues by an algorithm that accounts for a variety of factors, including age, production, current league and contract, believe he is the third most valuable player in the game behind team-mate Kylian Mbappe and Harry Kane. They value him at €197.1m.
There were reports in the summer that Real Madrid were seeking to put together a bid worth €300m for the former Santos player. Such a figure seems rather far-fetched, though it would likely take such an eye-watering sum for the Parisians to even consider parting with the leading asset both on and off the field.
Ultimately, the player’s value is only what clubs are willing to buy him for – and just as crucially, what PSG would sell him for.
Unless Thomas Tuchel’s side receive an incredible sum or win the Champions League, it is unlikely that they will willingly part with him.