Ten Hag coy on Man Utd’s links with Neymar
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag had the chance to shut down interest in Neymar before his side’s thumping 4-1 win over Chelsea on Thursday night. However, the Dutchman only added to the intrigue surrounding the 31-year-old by refusing to rule out a summer deal. And, should the Brazil international move to Old Trafford, he’d play alongside Jadon Sancho – a player he’s already spoken fondly of in the past.
Neymar has often produced the goods for PSG ever since his move from Barcelona back in the summer transfer window of 2017.
But, with injuries hampering the Brazil international in recent years, there’s talk of the forward leaving the Parc des Princes for the Premier League.
United have, as a result, emerged as potential suitors for a forward who has long been considered as one of the best in the whole of world football.
And should Neymar join the Red Devils, then he’d be able to play alongside Sancho.
Neymar has already praised the United star in the past. Speaking before in 2020, he hailed the 23-year-old – who was strutting his stuff for Borussia Dortmund in Germany at the time – by saying: “Jadon is a player that I really like to watch play and he is a great player with plenty of quality.
“Borussia Dortmund is a team with plenty of quality players. They have a special player, who is new but who is very good whose name is Sancho.
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Man Utd transfer news: Neymar is being linked amid PSG uncertainty (Image: GETTY)
“He is a good player.”
And then, just last year, Neymar hailed Sancho when discussing England’s chances of World Cup glory in Qatar.
“I really forgot about England but obviously they have a chance!” Neymar said.
“I really like (Harry) Kane and (Jadon) Sancho.
“They’re two incredible players and I have a special love for them because I like players that have their qualities.”
Sancho, in the end, didn’t make England’s squad for the tournament having struggled for consistency at United.
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Man Utd transfer news: Neymar won’t be cheap to sign from PSG (Image: GETTY)
But he’s been significantly improved ever since taking a four-month break earlier in the campaign.
Ten Hag allowed the former Manchester City academy graduate some time off to work on his fitness in order to rediscover his mojo.
And Sancho, particularly in recent weeks, appears to have turned a corner.
Ten Hag is happy with the United star and, speaking after his side’s 4-1 win over Chelsea on Thursday night, hailed Sancho for his performance after moving to the right wing following an injury to Antony.
“He did very well on the right side, and I think he played a very good game,” he said.
“I think Jadon Sancho was one of the players who [has made good] progress in this season.
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Man Utd transfer news: Neymar has previously lavished praise on Jadon Sancho (Image: GETTY)
“And there were many players in our squad who made good progress.
“I think it’s a good base to build further on.”
When asked for Sancho’s preferred position, he added: “He can do both [wings], but I think he prefers to play on the left.
“But we have seen [that] he is very good on the right as well.”
As for Neymar, it’ll be curious to see what happens with the PSG star.
Man Utd transfer news: Neymar celebrates scoring for PSG at Old Trafford in 2020 (Image: GETTY)
Though United are being linked, some have suggested it is merely intermediaries acting on behalf of the player planting rumours.
United were previously offered the chance to sign Neymar in 2019.
However, on that occasion, they turned down a transfer with two factors behind their thinking.
Ed Woodward, who was working at the club at the time, didn’t want Paul Pogba to move to PSG as part of the arrangement.
And United also felt Neymar’s wages were far too high, too, with the attacker earning a reported £900,000-a-week at the time.
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