BARCELONA are considering selling Neymar this summer because they cannot afford to tie him down to a new long-term deal.
The Spanish giants are desperate to keep hold of the Brazilian superstar who has a £144million buy-out clause in his existing contract at the Nou Camp.
But the forward is looking for a significant increase in the £77,000-a-week salary he currently earns, with Manchester United already making it clear they would hand him a £300,000-a-week deal to move to Old Trafford.
Barca know they have to improve Neymar’s current deal, but they fear breaking the bank would leave them crippled financially.
At present the Spanish club do not have a shirt sponsor and, already saddled with large debts, they are reluctant to commit to a bumper deal for Neymar.
Spanish expert Guillem Balague told Sky Sports: “It has been a fascinating story all season, a new twist to it happened this week. Two Catalan newspapers started a sort of campaign against Neymar, and those things never take place by chance.
“It seems the club was not fully unhappy that the papers have suggested Neymar’s lifestyle is not ideal for an elite player and some of his team-mates are not happy with that.”
Without a sponsor, Barcelona would have trouble giving Neymar a big pay rise, while also retaining Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, who would quite likely demand improved deals in response.
Paris St Germain have also recently turned their attention to Neymar after reaching a dead end in their pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The French giants certainly have the funds to bring in the Brazilian and would seem a more likely destination than United, as much for the fact they can guarantee Champions League football next season.
Where will Neymar be playing next season; Manchester United, Paris St Germain or Barcelona?