Man United Boss Erik Ten Hag Reacts To News Linking PSG Superstar Neymar To Old Trafford

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has opted not to shut down speculation linking the club with a summer swoop for Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar.

The Brazilian has suddenly emerged as an unlikely target for the Red Devils, with French publication L’Equipe claiming United – and a number of other Premier League clubs – have held talks with the Ligue 1 giants.

Negotiations with United are said to have advanced furthest, with Neymar’s Brazilian team-mate Casemiro reportedly encouraging his compatriot to join him at Old Trafford.

Since the report emerged, United have distanced themselves from the rumours, though Ten Hag surprisingly decided to play coy when asked about the speculation at a press conference on Wednesday.

Asked if there was any truth in the Neymar links, the Dutchman simply replied as cited by Sports Central: ‘When we have news we will tell you.’

That response has become something of a default answer for Ten Hag when questioned on transfers in public, though it did raise a few eyebrows that he did not outright shut down the rumour.

Neymar is facing an uncertain future in Paris, with the club’s hierarchy thought to be keen to shake up the make-up of the squad and move away from big-name signings and build a more local, youth-orientated side with a stronger French core.

Lionel Messi is also expected to leave the Parc des Princes when his contract expires this summer, despite having the option to play one more season.

United’s potential future links with Qatar have also fuelled the speculation, with Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani vying to buy the club in what has become a two-way battle with Britain’s richest man and Ineos founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

PSG are, of course, owned by Qatar Sports Investment and it has been suggested that the potential new ownership would want a marquee signing this summer and it could be a convenient deal for all parties.

Quite where Neymar would fit in is another matter, with United already blessed with a plethora of players who can play on the left wing: Marcus Rashford, Alejandro Garnacho and Jadon Sancho.

Ten Hag has prioritised a move for a proven, goalscoring number nine to lead his attack – with Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Tottenham frontman Harry Kane the leading candidates – and it seems unlikely United would be able to afford both a world-class forward and Neymar, never mind fitting them all in the same team.

Neymar remains the world’s most expensive footballer ever, with his £198m transfer from Barcelona to PSG in 2017 yet to be topped.

His form has dipped a little in recent seasons while he has had various injury issues, though he still managed to score 13 times and lay on 11 assists in just 20 Ligue 1 starts this season – though PSG once again fell short in the Champions League.