Should Neymar quit Barcelona for Manchester United?


Neymar will be a star football player no matter which club he’s a part of. He is a star at Barcelona and he would be a star if he pursued a transfer to Manchester United or any other Premier League club. The real challenge for Neymar and his advisors is to find the place where he can be the biggest star. Their job is to maximize the player’s exposure and profits. Currently the inner circle is surely debating whether it’s better for his future to lie at Old Trafford or Bernaebeu.

In case you have somehow missed the news, the Mail Online reported that Neymar is considering a move to Manchester United in part to avoid what he terms as “persecution” by the Spanish and Brazilian governments over income tax issues. Whether or not you really believe that these issues are enough to bring the starlet to England is immaterial. The question we are answering here is whether or not Neymar should make a move from Barcelona to Manchester.

In terms of team success on the field, the answer is almost certainly no. Manchester United is struggling to hold on to a Champions League place while Barcelona is an annual threat for the La Liga title. Additionally, at Barcelona he has the opportunity to not just compete in the Champions League, but to win it. At United, this would be out of his grasp in the immediate future.

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Neymar’s arrival would lift the play at United, but they would still need several other things to go right to compete at that level. That’s not a dig at Neymar or Manchester United, it’s just a statement of fact. They are further away from competing for a Champions League title than Barcelona is at the moment. Trading Messi and Suarez as teammates for Rooney and Mata is a significant step backwards.

On the other hand, Neymar would unquestionably be the man at Manchester United. Just as he is for Brazil, the fleet-footed attacker could use the club as somewhat of a star vehicle. There would be other good players around him, but he would be the focal point offensively for United. If he has a desire to be the unquestioned leader of his team than making the move to United is a no-brainer. It’s a lot easier to overcome Wayne Rooney in the locker room than Lionel Messi.

Off the field, you must assume that his quality of life in Barcelona is pretty high. His affable personality would allow him to get along with teammates anywhere, but he seems to particularly fit in with the Spanish giants. He is mobbed by the press in Spain, but not to the level that he’d experience in England. He’d struggle to go a day without being featured in the British tabloids. The slight anonymity he can receive in Spain, in comparison, is a slight advantage. All in all, other than weather, his status in the two locations would be pretty similar.

Financially the two places are a wash as well. He will get a deal with that will make him filthy rich at either club. If he forces through a move to United he’ll get a shiny new contract that will make him a wealthy man. If he stays at Barcelona he will just use the threat of transferring to United to get his current club to offer the same sort of contract. He will get paid handsomely at either club.

Outside of that, his endorsement deals should be similar between the two clubs as well. Sure, if he were to be a part of United he would be featured prominently in Chevy advertisements, but there’s no reason he couldn’t gain the same sort of exposure at Barcelona. His commercial appeal and opportunities should be similar both places. Just as in the contract comparison, there’s little to separate the two options in terms of endorsements.

Ultimately, Neymar’s future should come down to what he feels is more important. If he has the burning desire to be the one true star who can lift a club to its full potential then he should make the move to Manchester United. If he wants to go down as a key cog in one of the most successful and stylish teams of our generation then he must stay put in Barcelona. Neymar’s choice will tell us a great deal about the type of man he is and the type of player he wants to become.