The rumour mill spits out all kinds of convoluted content in an effort to fill pages and drive clicks, and Spanish outlet Sport have today released a classic of the genre by suggesting Real Madrid could sell Gareth Bale to Liverpool in order to fund their purchase of Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain this summer.
As the theory goes, with Madrid are having a torrid time of it in La Liga this season—15 points off leaders Barcelona and at risk of finishing fourth behind Valencia and local rivals Atletico Madrid—there is going to be some big spending this summer at the Bernabeu. And it doesn’t get bigger than Neymar.
As for the 26-year-old Brazilian, he made the switch from Barcelona to PSG last summer but has since been forced to come to grips with the reality of life at his new club—forever champions in a weak French league but a European afterthought. It all adds up, as Sport see it, to Neymar moving to Madrid.
Even Madrid, though, would have trouble paying the kind of fee that might get PSG to sell even an unhappy Neymar. And that means selling off a major asset, most likely Gareth Bale, who Sport are linking with Manchester United and Liverpool—or, just maybe, with a return to Tottenham Hotspur.
That last seems unlikely given Madrid are said to want €100M (£88M) for the 28-year-old Bale, leaving United and Liverpool to battle it out for the Madrid attacker—with Sport suggesting Liverpool are the more serious suitors and more likely to pay the fee Madrid want in order to get the deal done.
Though, of course, Madrid would only seek to sell Bale—to Liverpool or otherwise—if they were confident of bringing in Neymar. Leaving us with a convoluted mess of a transfer rumour involving multiple clubs and multiple gargantuan transfer deals with each depending on the other getting done.
Even if Sport have some special insight here (which they probably don’t) and aren’t just making it all up for the clicks (which they probably are), the safe money would be on all of this adding up to nothing come summer. Still, it’s amusing entertainment in the meantime, as far as these sorts of things go.
Plus if it happened it’d manage to piss off Tottenham and Barcelona while giving Madrid a marquee attacking signing not named Mohamed Salah. So that’s enough for us to hope it somehow ends up getting done, no matter how likely that seems.