The money game
‘£576m’ – the Daily Mirror‘s Neymar-related back-page headline, August 3.
‘Neymar would have cost Paris Saint-Germain £500MILLION – and Alexis Sanchez is still on the radar’ – Daily Mirror website from July 23.
‘Neymar has agreed a five-year contract and the deal is expected to be worth nearly £450m including wages and bonuses’ – Daily Mirror website, August 3.
‘£450m! That’s the Neymar cost to PSG’ – Daily Mail, July 24.
‘Neymar: the £415m footballer’ – back page of The Times, August 3.
‘In total, the deal will cost PSG a mind-boggling £396m’ – Daily Mail, August 3.
‘Neymar’s move to Paris Saint-Germain will cost total of £352million’ – The Sun, August 2.
So anywhere between £576m and £352m is a safe bet. Good to know.
Can we not just all agree that you could buy an awful lot of Freddos for the same money and leave it at that?
The Daily Mail treat us to a intriguing, revealing and quite excellent in-depth Neymar article from Pete Jenson. In it, the Spanish football expert discusses the intricacies of the deal, the breakdown in the player’s relationship with Barcelona, and PSG’s motives in bringing him to France.
Jenson briefly touches upon Neymar’s life away from football, adding:
‘Neymar’s playboy lifestyle had raised eyebrows in Spain. But his fondness for partying with British Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton and Canadian singer Justin Bieber, or taking frequent trips to London, was more than countered by his brilliance on the pitch.’
That is the sole reference to the Brazilian’s social life; a one-line reference to his dalliances with celebrities, that Jenson says was overshadowed by his performance level.
So what headline do you think that the Mail chose for Jenson’s article?
‘PSG GAMBLE ON PLAYBOY WITH MAGIC IN HIS BOOTS’
But of course.
That is a common theme in Thursday’s newspapers, obviously. The Daily Mirror have a double-page spread on Neymar’stransfer, but the headline sticks in the craw a little.
‘4 YEARS, 186 GAMES, 105 GOALS, 8 TROPHIES…BUT IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY,’ it reads.
The sub-headline that follows is something of a qualifier – ‘Even Barca can’t stop a Brazilian making sure they get cash to take care of family and friends’ – but still.
To those who thought Neymar was leaving to win the Champions League and other trophies with a new club, to further his personal ambitions away from the stars of Barcelona or to play with more Brazilians at PSG, you’re wrong. Why? Because ‘IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY’.
It is at least partly about the money (think of the Freddos), but PSG are hardly bad footballing muck.
Neymar’s move and aforementioned activity on social media provides many outlets with easy content. The Sun are not about to miss this particular boat.
‘Inside the life of £198m star Neymar… from fast cars and stunning girlfriends to family tattoos and selfless charity work,’ reads the headline on the front of their website. At least they have their priorities in check.
Strangely, the headline changes when you click into the story. It now reads: ‘Neymar, inside the life of the £196m star… from stunning girlfriends and family tattoos to private jets and luxury cars’. Because who cares about charity work really?
The article contains, in total: 21 photos from Neymar’s Instagram account, 14 photos from other sources, and 11 videos. And yet we still know barely anything of his charity work, and bloody loads about his ‘stunning girlfriends’.
Sounds to us like another ‘footie idiot’ in the making…
No more Neymar
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) August 3, 2017
No, they’ve just taken down a large poster of him. He’s hardly been expunged from their records.
Can you dig it?
Barcelona will likely target Philippe Coutinho to replace Neymar, but Jurgen Klopp is having none of it.
Or, as the Daily Mail report it: ‘Coutinho won’t be replacing Neymar at Barcelona, insists Klopp again as he aims dig at PSG and Manchester City’
A ‘dig’, eh? This sounds juicy.
“There are clubs that can pay fees like that – Man City and PSG; everyone knows that.”
Ooft. The rich bastards.
Reade all about it
Brian Reade is ‘at the heart of football’, and so understandably heard Arsene Wenger’s recent quotes about contracts in football.
“In the future, you will see that more and more often, players going to the end of their contracts,” the Arsenal manager said. “Why? Because their transfers become so high, even for normal players, that you will see more players going to the end of their contract because no one wants to pay the amount of money that is demanded. I’m convinced that in the next 10 years it will become usual.”
Wenger’s comments are, of course, in relation to Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, whose deals at the club expire next summer.
Reade dedicates his Daily Mirror column to said quotes, and questions how the Frenchman can see said expiring contracts as “ideal”.
‘How could letting prized talents, such as Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, leave for nothing next May be deemed an “ideal situation”?’ he asks.
‘Especially when he qualified it by insisting the contract rebels will play out of their skins until the final day of the season to attract the highest bidders.
‘And by refusing to factor in the risk of a temperamental malcontent indulging in a season-long strop for being held against his will.’
Sanchez is many things, but a ‘temperamental malcontent’ who might ‘indulge’ in a ‘strop’ all season? Let’s at least wait and see, eh?
Neil Ashton has a column in The Sun on Thursday, and it is on Daniel Sturridge.
‘Here we go again then,’ he writes. Quite.
‘A sublime goal against Bayern Munich then another injury, a muscle tear that will most likely keep him out of Liverpool’s starting line-up.’
For how long? One game, which was played the day after against Atletico Madrid, a fixture that he probably wouldn’t have started anyway?
And ‘a muscle tear’? Does Ashton know something Liverpool don’t? The club stated on Wednesday that Sturridge’s substitution was a ‘precaution’, that no scan will take place, and that he ‘is not ruled out of any further matches beyond this evening’s.’
Even Ashton doesn’t sound convinced: by the fourth paragraph, the injury is relegated from ‘a muscle tear’ to ‘a thigh strain’.
The rest of Ashton’s column includes the usual opinions on Sturridge, questioning his ‘low pain threshold’, the need to ‘massage his ego’, his ‘laissez-faire attitude’, the ‘doubts’ over whether he ‘has the minerals’.
A reminder: Liverpool say he will be fit for the start of the season.
Ashton adds that Jurgen Klopp ‘will have to make contingency plans again,’ as a result of Sturridge’s injury. The manager will have ‘to work out another system in case his striker breaks down again’.
He might just play the exact same system as last season, with Roberto Firmino reprising his role as the centre forward?
Riyad to nowhere
‘Agent Kante? Blues ace meets Chelsea & Arsenal target for dinner amid transfer speculation’ – The Metro.
Because ‘Kante meets former Leicester teammate Riyad Mahrez for dinner’ is not quite as sexy.
Stunning revelation of the day
‘William Gallas snubs Arsenal and Tottenham: Chelsea are my favourite London club’ – Daily Express.
Mediawatch for one is stunned Gallas prefers the club that first brought him to the Premier League, and the one where he won four trophies instead of zero.
Predictable story of the summer
Writes James Nursey for the Daily Mirror:
‘Harry Redknapp is getting increasingly frustrated at Birmingham.
‘Redknapp only agreed a new contract after being promised a transfer war chest.
‘Yet the club’s Chinese owners are not pushing through deals – and City this week missed out on Emmanuel Agyemang Badu to Turkish side Bursaspor.’
Headline of the day
‘Arsenal star Theo Walcott shows his bravery at club family day by holding a snake around his neck’ – MailOnline.
Recommended reading of the day
Louise Taylor on England’s semi-final preparations.
Nick Miller talks to Gary Rowett.
Pete Jenson on Neymar.