March 22, 2018 was the date when at Mangaratiba, Neymar Jr’s luxury eight-million-euro mansion an hour from the centre of Río de Janeiro, the PSG striker posted a selfie with Vinicius Junior . Both players posted the picture on their respective social media accounts without realising the headache the picture would cause Real Madrid, as the meeting of the two was something the Spanish club wanted to remain a secret.
Vinicius was taken to Neymar’s house by a Real Madrid club delegate so both players could get to know each other, but with the massive media repercussion of the social media posts from both players, Neymar’s media team then filtered that the pictures were taken after “a casual meeting between two good friends”.
“No one can know that I’m back in Rio,” was the claim uttered by the Madrid representative to countless people in March fully aware that, as the locals say “Río es un pueblo” (Rio is a small town) and people talk. There was more than one meeting between the Madrid delegate and Neymar during the month of March as the PSG striker returned to his homeland to recover from his ongoing injury.
The background to these meetings in Brazil is Florentino Perez and his determination to secure the signature of Neymar. The player has long been on the radar of the Bernabéu outfit ever since the time when, as a child he trained with Real Madrid for two weeks and was close to being sold for a paltry 60,000-euro fee. Five years later, then a Santos player, Madrid saw how their interest in the striker was vanquished by Barcelona despite them reaching an advanced stage of the negotiation process after the Catalan club paid a 40-million-euro fee to the player’s father. Neymar moved to Camp Nou.
Florentino is confident that the time has come to bring the Brazilian star to the Santiago Bernabéu and it has been suggested that the Parisian side would be prepared to release Neymar for a fee of 260 million euros.
Neymar returned to the French capital last Friday and will spend the final stage of his recuperation process there as he now prepares for the impending 2018 World Cup. Both the player and his club PSG have stated on a number of occasions that a move will not happen this summer and that Neymar will play in the French league next season. There is still much of the negotiation process to undergo but those close to the player have confided that if it were up to the player and Real Madrid, the Ligue 1 game against Marseille would have been Neymar’s last in a Paris Saint-Germain shirt.