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Neymar’s Paris Saint-Germain switch changing the face of transfer market

Paris Saint-Germain’s world-record capture of Neymar from Barcelona has caused a shift across the transfer market as a whole.

football Updated: Feb 01, 2018 18:23 IST
By Harry West
Neymar completed his world-record €222million move from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain last year.
Neymar completed his world-record €222million move from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain last year. (Getty Images)

Neymar’s €222million move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain has changed the face of the entire transfer market, according to sport finance specialist Dan Plumley.

The Brazilian’s world-record switch to Ligue 1 last August caused shock waves around the football world and had a knock-on effect in the January window.

Wednesday’s deadline passed at the end of a month which saw a number of seismic deals go through – including Barca smashing their own record in parting with €160m to prise Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool.

(Read | Neymar saddened by Lucas Moura’s move to Tottenham Hotspur)

That was not the only activity at Anfield, as Virgil van Dijk joined from Southampton for £75m, while elsewhere in the Premier League Arsenal concluded a protracted pursuit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, spending a club-record £56m to bring the striker in from Borussia Dortmund.

At 29 years of age, Aubameyang is nearer the end of his career than the beginning, but Plumley says clubs can afford to adopt an approach geared towards immediate success.

“At the top end where clubs have got substantial amounts of money, is it about short-term impulses? [Clubs are thinking] ‘Do we need somebody now that can come in and make a difference?’” he told Omnisport.

(Read | Neymar must be protected: Paris Saint-Germain head coach Unai Emery)

“The handful of world-class players ... there’s not many so when a player becomes available like Aubameyang, Arsenal need to act quickly to secure that transfer.

“We know that the transfer is going to be in the region of £50million because if you look at that Neymar deal that went through in the summer ... okay, I don’t think Barcelona ever expected anyone to hit that release clause, but the minute that fee gets reported the market shifts and you have inflation in the middle sector.”

The current broadcasting deal, running from 2016 to 2019, is worth £5.14billion to the Premier League. Plumley anticipates that figure will rise again when fresh terms are negotiated and while that upward trend continues he expects transfer fees and wages to follow suit.

(Read | Borussia Dortmund boss glad to see the back of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saga)

“While that [television] money is high, it’s sustainable and clubs can afford these fees and wages,” he said. “It might change the dynamic if the broadcasting revenue plateaus.

“We’re not expecting a huge increase this time around. If you look at this deal compared to the last deal from 2013 to 2016, there was a 70 per cent increase. We’re not expecting that kind of level again, we’re possibly looking at a 15 to 20 per cent increase, which is still a substantial amount.

(Read | West Ham United suspend head of recruitment Tony Henry pending investigation)

“People always ask this question, when is the bubble going to burst? It’s an impossible question to answer. We’ve been through one recession in 2008 and football was bulletproof and the broadcasting fees have gone up and up and up, it operates in its own bubble.

“The trend has been an upward one and while you have broadcasters willing to pay those fees there’s no evidence to suggest it will change in the short term.”