Man Utd and their £140m Neymar bid

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Neymar is the latest Man Utd transfer fantasy
Neymar is the latest Man Utd transfer fantasy

When a leading UK paper devoted their back page to the news that Manchester United were looking to sign Barcelona superstar Neymar in the final week of the transfer window, it seemed as if the craziest transfer story of the summer has been penned.

The journalist who put his name to the story instantly became the subject of hate mail on twitter, as the ridicule surrounding United's latest - and seemingly almost certainly failed - attempt to sign a superstar in this transfer window flowed with predictable venom.

Yet the days since that story broke appear to have added some credence to the notion that United are genuinely considering a Neymar bid that would go down in soccer history as the most remarkable of all time.

As reports in South American emerged from credible sources to suggest United were preparing to table a £140m bid to trigger the release clause in Neymar's Barcelona contract, the big fantasy soccer story of 2015 turned into something far more tangible.

Let's be honest, it still seems impossible to imagine a transfer of this magnitude could be pieced together and finalised ahead of the 6pm transfer deadline next Tuesday, but it does seem as if this is the latest dream deal being worked on by United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

He may have failed in bids to sign Gareth Bale, Mats Hummels, Sergio Ramos and Pedro in recent weeks, yet that does not seem to have diluted woodward's ambition and according to South American publication Globo Esporte, talks over a deal Brazilian icon Neymar are believed to have taken place in recent days.

Their report claiming Neymar would become United's global ambassador as the club moves into a new era and yet at the same time, reports emerged from Spain suggesting a new Barcelona contract may soon be offered to the player at the centre of this curious transfer storm.

In a summer when Real Madrid star Ramos and Borussia Dortmund Ilkay Gundogan used their links with United to get a pay rise with their current employers, you would assume that United and Woodward are not foolish enough to get caught up in another tale that ends with the club 'deciding' to pull out of a deal to sign Neymar.

Having been stung more than once in this game with agents and their high profile clients, Woodward knows he dare not slip up again and it seems that the United transfer chief is among the few who thinks a deal could be struck.

Even in an era when money seems to be no obstacle to crazy ambition, does anyone really expect next week's transfer deadline day jamboree on Sky Sports News to be dominated by images of Neymar standing at Old Trafford holding up his new United No.9 shirt?

They say nothing is impossible in this game, but Neymar joining Manchester United in the next seven days may well be an exception to that rule.