Manchester United's Jose Mourinho in contact with Barcelona star Neymar over £172.9m signing

Eduardo Fernandez-Abascal
mourinho-i-would-rather-win-europa-league-than-come-fourth-in-premiere-league

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is reportedly ready to make every effort to secure the services of Neymar ahead of the coming summer transfer window. Chelsea have also been linked with the Barcelona star in recent days but Sport is claiming that the Portuguese boss is set to meet his €200m (£172.9m) release clause to turn the Brazilian into his next marquee signing.

Neymar's father already revealed last year that United made an approach to sign his son during the summer of 2015.

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That speculation remerged during the last summer transfer window after Mundo Deportivo reported that United were ready to battle with Paris Saint Germain and Real Madrid to lure him away from Barcelona, offering him a lucrative deal while also being ready to pay the player's release clause.

Neymar recently confirmed that he was in conversation with some clubs during the summer, but instead, on 1 July, he decided to sign a new five-year deal at Barcelona, increasing his release clause to €200m for the first year of his contract, €222m for the second and €250m for the remaining three.

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The 25-year-old appeared then to close the doors to a future move away from Barcelona but last week put potential English transfer suitors on red alert by revealing his desire to one day experience the Premier League.

Neymar

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"The Premier League is a championship that amazes me. I like the playing style and the teams. And who knows, someday, I would like to play in it, yes. I admire Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool – these are the teams that are always there fighting. And then you have high-level coaches like Mourinho and Guardiola. These are coaches with whom any player would like to work," Neymar said.

Last week reports in Italy claimed that Antonio Conte had blocked his arrival to Chelsea despite Roman Abramovich being ready to pay around £155m to lure him to Stamford Bridge.

Sport is now backing those claims but adds that United are ready to beat any suitor by activating his £172.9m release clause in a new world record transfer – eclipsing the £89m deal for Paul Pogba.

The Spanish publication claims that Mourinho himself is orchestrating the move, calling Neymar regularly in order to convince the player to leave Lionel Messi and co to become a real leader at United.

Furthermore, according to the report, United would offer Neymar to double his Barcelona wages with a €25m-a-year deal – equivalent to €480.000 (£415,000)-a-week.

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