The Situation: Neymar To City? The De Jong Saga Explained And Ronaldo Latest

Your one-stop shop for news on the biggest transfer stories in the game
11:12, 15 Jul 2022

Welcome to The Situation, our weekly look at the latest from the summer transfer window’s biggest deals. With transfers seeming to take longer than ever, mired in a tangled web of personal terms, add-ons and release clauses, The Sportsman aims to get to the heart of the issue and inform you of exactly what stage a deal is at.

Neymar

Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar is the surprise subject of interest from Manchester City. Pep Guardiola has already acquired one superstar striker this summer in Erling Haaland, and is reportedly amenable to pairing him with the mercurial Brazilian.

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This transfer seems firmly rooted in the rumour stage at the moment, with Mail Online going as far as to say Neymar does not want to leave France. But disagreements with the newly-empowered Kylian Mbappe could lead to Neymar’s position becoming untenable. This summer is a forward’s market, with Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United and Chelsea all on the look-out. If the 30-year-old does become available it seems likely City will face competition for his signature.

Frenkie de Jong

The saga of the summer has got Manchester United fans tearing their hair out to the point that the Stretford End will look like a sea of Erik ten Hags by the time the season starts. There was finally a breakthrough this week, as Barcelona accepted an €85 million bid for Frenkie de Jong from the Red Devils.

However, the deal is far from done on the player’s side. The Netherlands international would still prefer to stay at Camp Nou. There is also the issue of £17 million in deferred wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other economic factors. Barcelona are not in the financial position to pay this sum, and some reports suggest they have tried to settle at a lower fee. De Jong has not been amenable to this as of yet and the situation is still ongoing.

Oleksandr Zinchenko

The Ukraine full back is a target for Arsenal, who are switching gears after losing out on the signing of Lisandro Martinez to Manchester United. The 25-year-old, who can also play in midfield, worked alongside Gunners boss Mikel Arteta while the Spaniard was assistant manager at the Etihad.

Arsenal have opened talks with City and it is understood the Premier League champions would be willing to sell Zinchenko if their valuation is met. If the Ukrainian does depart, the Cityzens are expected to step up their efforts to sign Brighton & Hove Albion left back Marc Cucurella.

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Robert Lewandowski

The Bayern Munich forward is still set to start next season in the Bundesliga despite his desperation to sign for Barcelona. A €40m bid from the Catalan giants was rejected, and the striker has turned up late to training three times in a row now. This is being interpreted as the player agitating for a move.

Bayern director Hasan Salihamidžić has shrugged off the idea Lewandwoski is protesting, telling BILD, “Robert is a top professional, I know him very well - never had any doubts that he may not show up for training”. With Barca president Joan Laporta still keen to activate the next “economic lever” that would free up funds for the cash-strapped club, Bayern may have to fend off more offers before the window slams shut.

Cristiano Ronaldo

If you had said even a year ago that ‘CR7’ might be on the market with no willing takers who can offer him Champions League football, you’d have been laughed at. But that is the exact situation Manchester United’s 37-year-old albatross finds himself in.

Chelsea ended their interest in the former Real Madrid man this week, with manager Thomas Tuchel reportedly deciding the signing did not gel with his tactical plans. Bayern had already withdrawn from the race previously and PSG joined them in dismissing the deal this week.

An offer of a £25 million transfer fee and over £250 million in wages across a two-year contract to play for an unnamed Saudi Arabian club has reportedly been rejected by the player. Ronaldo’s desire to play Champions League football is the main driver behind wanting to leave Old Trafford. The wait continues for a club in that competition willing to take on both his wages and his ego.

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