Barcelona star open to completing astounding £177m Manchester United transfer

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Manchester United’s quest to return to the top table of European football could see them turn towards a mega-deal for Barcelona superstar Neymar this summer.

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The Red Devils are putting their summer transfer plans in place as they look to strengthen enough to challenge for the Premier League title and in the Champions League too. Benfica defender Victor Lindelof has already made the switch to Old Trafford, with a whole host of big names seemingly set to join him.

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Signing an attacking talisman is clearly Jose Mourinho’s priority right now, having released last season’s top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede scored 28 goals, but suffered a serious knee injury towards the end of the campaign, and at 35 years of age, there are doubts over whether he can recover fully, so the option of a second year on top of his single season deal has not been taken.

Club captain Wayne Rooney, 31, could leave this summer too. The striker, who is United’s all time record goalscorer, has struggled for first team opportunities under Mourinho, and reports have linked him with a move to China or back to his hometown club Everton.

Antoine Griezmann, Alvaro Morata and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have all been linked, as has Cristiano Ronaldo, but it appears Mourinho is keen to break the bank to sign the player many believe will dominate the footballing world when Ronaldo and arch-rival Lionel Messi finally slow down. Neymar has been Messi’s teammate at Barcelona for four years, and the pair have wreaked havoc alongside Luis Suarez in recent seasons.

Yet, Mourinho will be hoping to exploit a summer of uncertainty at the Camp Nou. After failing to win a third straight league title last term, Luis Enrique left his position as coach and has been replaced by Ernesto Valverde. But with no new signings sorted, and Messi and Andres Iniesta in need of new contracts, the pressure is really on Valverde to deliver both on and off the pitch.

Neymar signed a new five-year deal with the club last season, but did spend time considering his options. United were said to be one possible destination, and they could resurface by paying the Brazilian’s £177million release clause, according to the Daily Star.

United and Mourinho are desperate to win a first Premier League title since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson and they hope signing Neymar would be the catalyst for that success.

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