Complicated Spanish Report Involving Philippe Coutinho Links Man Utd to Neymar Swoop Once More

Jonathan Smith
90Min

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho could allegedly yet swoop for Neymar in the summer, with reports in Spain claiming that growing tension between the Brazilian and the club, who continue to prioritise Lionel Messi, could lead ultimately lead him to quit Camp Nou.


A convoluted and quite hard-to-follow story emerging from often dubious gossip outlet Don Balon has it that Neymar is set against potential candidate Jorge Sampaoli replacing Luis Enrique as manager due to his existing affinity with fellow Argentine Messi.

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That, the claim goes, could see Neymar kept out of the spotlight he so desperately craves.

It is also said that Neymar remains keen for Barça to sign his personal friends Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool and Marquinhos from Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite other reports from Spain suggesting that a deal for Coutinho in particular is close to being reached, there is always the chance that failure to pull it off, combined with the arrival of Messi ally Sampaoli, has the possibility to push an allegedly already frustrated Neymar to the door. That's the gossipy angle taken by the ​Daily Star, at least. Make of it what you will.

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Don Balon also, rather confusingly, claims that Jose Mourinho has informed Real Madrid president Florentino Perez of the developing situation. The two men obviously worked closely together during Mourinho's three-year stint at the Bernabeu, and so the opportunity to get one over on a weakening Barça would appear to have brought them back together.

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Of course, while money is proving to be of little consequence at Old Trafford, Manchester United going after Neymar would hinge on Mourinho reversing his recent public declaration when the last round of €200m rumours surfaced that it would be 'absurd' to do so.

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"It's speculation, I always try to be objective and pragmatic with clubs and to ask them what they can give me. To ask for Neymar is absurd," the United boss told ESPN Brazil last month.

"A club like Barcelona cannot and will not lose Neymar. Although Messi is still a player with years ahead of him, he's almost 30, and Neymar will be the great player of Barcelona after Messi. So much that I think [signing Neymar] is like trying to break into a safe, impossible."

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