Paris St-Germain are reportedly ready to pay £196m for Barcelona forward Neymar.
One hundred and ninety-six million pounds for one player. Just let that sink in.
It is more than double the current world record fee of £89m paid by Manchester United for Paul Pogba and almost two and a half times that paid by Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
Both United and Real have an estimated worth of almost £3bn, according to Forbes, so it is not beyond the realms of comprehension that they could afford Neymar.
But how are Paris St-Germain, not in the top 10 of the world’s richest clubs, able to spend almost a third of their value on one player?Will it be £196m in one go? Instalments? A deposit-plus-interest-free payments for three years?
Football finance expert Dr Rob Wilson of Sheffield Hallam University shed some light on how they might come to an agreement:
“What you tend to find is when clubs buy a player – for large amounts or small – they will stagger these payments over a course of a contract,” Wilson says.
“Let’s assume PSG pay £200m for Neymar and he signs a 10-year contract – they will pay £20m per year to Barcelona. Of course, the selling club has to agree to that length of time.
“You expect there to be a decent upfront payment though. When Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Real Madrid from Manchester United for £80m in 2009, the English club demanded the fee was paid in full before it was allowed to happen.
“Regarding Neymar, I think you’ll probably see a substantial initial payment – let’s say £100m – and a couple of payments afterwards to make the balance.”PSG are set to pay huge bucks, and will be paying huge wages, for a player who is not only highly talented but also highly marketable.
According to Forbes, the Brazilian is the 18th highest-paid sports star in the world with £11.54m earned from his salary and £17m from endorsements alone, thanks to deals with Nike, Gillette, Panasonic and Beats by Dre.
That is great for him, but how can PSG get a slice – a large one at that?
“I think they’ll generate funds from commercial endorsements and additional sponsorships because he’s obviously a very marketable player,” Wilson says.
“PSG will be able to come to agreement with the player and his agent over image rights, and how best they can use him to promote the club.
“I think when you sign a player of that magnitude they tend to bring a level of excitement, so commercial enterprises will be more interested in partnerships with PSG.”