Barcelona and Manchester United set for stunning £173m summer transfer deal

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Manchester United are set to smash the world transfer record once again by luring Barcelona superstar Neymar to Old Trafford in a £173million deal this summer, according to the Daily Express.

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United bought the current most expensive player in history by signing Paul Pogba from Juventus for £89million last summer, but reports suggest boss Jose Mourinho is in talks with the Catalan giants to secure a seal which would cost almost double that amount overall.

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The speculation comes from Spanish newspaper Sport, who claim the Red Devils are willing to meet the 25-year-old’s release clause at the Camp Nou. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Blaugrana right now, with boss Luis Enrique set to depart the club at the end of the season. Both Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi’s contracts run out in just over a year’s time, and there are doubts that the club are able to afford to renew both deals.

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Brazil star Neymar has previously been linked with a move to United, but instead penned a new deal himself, which runs until 2021. Huge clauses are often placed in these contracts to ward off interest from other big clubs, but Barcelona are wary that Mourinho and United are keen and more than willing to pay the huge sum required.

Since arriving in Europe, and Barcelona, in 2013, Neymar has developed from wonderkid into world-beater. He was the talisman for his club Santos and Brazil as a teenager, but has gone from strength to strength in Spain, helping Barça win two La Liga titles and the Champions League.

Alongside Messi and Luis Suarez, Neymar has been part of the best strikeforce in the world, arguably ever, since 2014. The trident, known as the MSN, have scored over 200 goals between them, and it would be interesting to see how he got on away from his partners in crime.

How Mourinho would fit him into his team would also be intriguing. The Portuguese’s current system does not use wide players, as Neymar has become known while at Barcelona, and he has been keen on adding a striker to his ranks to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the long-term.

Whether Neymar would move to United without Champions League football is also debatable. Currently fifth in the Premier League, United may not qualify, although winning the Europa League would mean they get there. Not playing in the competition did not stop Pogba and Ibrahimovic joining last summer, but Neymar may think twice about leaving Barcelona without the promise of the biggest stage.

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