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Is the most significant, most seismic, most insufferably protracted transfer saga of the summer — and maybe ever — finally about to end?
Lionel Messi seems to think so.
The Barcelona star took to Instagram on Wednesday to say goodbye to current teammate Neymar, who’s been linked with a blockbuster move to Paris Saint-Germain for weeks, if not years.
The post was published in Spanish, and it translates roughly as follows: “It was a great pleasure to have shared all these years with you, friend @neymarjr. I wish you good luck in this new stage of your life. See you tomorrow.”
And here’s the post in full, complete with a video tribute:
Neymar missed Barcelona training on Wednesday, with his agent telling a Spanish radio station the Brazilian attacker was flying to Paris to formalize plans to be presented as the French giants’ newest signing this weekend.
PSG apparently intends to trigger Neymar’s mammoth release clause, which has been reported as over $260 million, which would represent by far the biggest transfer price in the history of the sport.
And Neymar just might be worth it. He can play on either wing or through the middle, he’s deft both on and off the ball, he’s got pace to burn and he’s a specialist in free kicks and penalties. During his time with Barcelona, the Catalonians have won the Champions League, two La Liga titles and three consecutive Copa del Reys. Neymar also led Brazil in triumphs at the 2013 Confederations Cup and last summer’s Rio Olympics.
While nothing is official regarding the transfer, this is about as strong as the indications have been that Neymar is bound for the French capital. Since being purchased by a Qatari ownership group in 2011, PSG has dominated Ligue 1 but failed to advance past the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
Can Neymar lead the club to European glory? We’ll see. The first step is actually signing for PSG, no matter who posts what on social media.
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• Why Neymar might be worth that $255 million price tag
• Friendly preseason El Clasico was nothing to write home about
• Morata trades La Liga champs for Premier League title holders