Football transfers are not cheap. To have a player strengthen their ranks, teams are willing to pay big money. The football transfer considered to be the most expensive in the sport's history was that of Gareth Bale leaving Tottenham to play at Real Madrid. The Spanish club paid not less than £86 million (about $133 million at today's exchange rates) to have the player among its own. But recent news suggest that this record might be broken this year. According to reports in the media, UK Premier League team Manchester United is willing to almost double that amount.
It was Brazilian media outlet Globo.com that broke the news, according to which Manchester United would be willing to pay the buyout clause of Brazilian player Neymar of approximately £140 million to Catalonian football team Barcelona. If the transfer is completed - and it will not be the Old Trafford team's fault if it doesn't - this will be the largest sum ever paid by a football club for a player. The total cost of the transfer will be even bigger - with the addition of taxes and the player's weekly pay for the duration of the contract, it will easily exceed £200 million.
Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar da Silva Santos Junior (L) celebrates his second goal during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Villarreal CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on December 14, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)
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According to sources in the press, Neymar will not leave for Manchester anytime soon. Some sources say that the transfer can't be completed during this year's window - in fact the deal is not likely to be completed until next January. Other sources speculate on the offer to be part of a strategy for the 23 year old Brazilian player to obtain better terms with its current team. Some even say that Barcelona is already preparing a new contract for the player, with a six-figure weekly wage and a doubled buy-out clause. No wonder - Neymar was a very effective player in the last season, scoring 39 times.