Stunning reports coming out of Spain suggest that Real Madrid are willing to pay Paris Saint-Germain £307million to prise away Neymar.
It is understood that the reigning European champions have offered that much to persuade the French champions to forgo a release clause in Neymar’s contract.
A source close to the deal said PSG included a stipulation in the Brazilian’s deal that he can leave for €300m (£263m) on September 1, the day after the transfer window closes so that he would be unable to represent another club until 2019.
The clause was installed to ensure the 26-year-old remained at the Parc des Princes for at least 18 months after his €224m (then £198m) world-record move from Barcelona last summer.
But Los Blancos are unwilling to wait until January before they land their latest Galactico in a deal believed to be part of an even bigger commercial operation which would see Nike, who work with Neymar, replace Adidas as Real’s sponsor.
Substantial changes at the Bernabéu would be likely should the world-record move materialise.
There is uncertainty over whether Real would be capable of paying Neymar’s wages, likely to be around €45m-a-year (£39m), while also having Cristiano Ronaldo on the payroll.
Ronaldo, 33, is believed to be on €21m (£18m) and the two salaries would be impossible for the La Liga giants to maintain.
Rumours are swirling that it was president Florentino Pérez’s obsession with signing Neymar that led Zinedine Zidane to resign last month as the Frenchman, who led Real to three successive Champions League trophies, wanted to keep Ronaldo and knew Neymar’s arrival would be the end of the Portuguese’s stay in Madrid.