Neymar’s world record transfer is sure to have a ripple effect on football for years to come.
However, if one were to speculate and build a fantasy world, what domino effect would this transfer really have on Europe’s top leagues?
For a select number of clubs, we can only imagine….
The Transfer Window
Real Madrid have noticed that Barcelona has just been weakened and push to sign Kylian Mbappe from Monaco. Without the pressure of having to break a record transfer fee, they up their bid for Mbappe to €190 million.
The player praises the Spanish giants at his first press conference as a Real Madrid player and says, “[Zinedine] Zidane called me personally and that motivated me to come play for the best club in the world.”
Mbappe is unveiled holding up a number 11 shirt which sparks rumour that Gareth Bale could be on his way out of the Madrid club. Two days later, Jose Mourinho is asked whether Manchester United are signing the Welsh winger after reports emerge of a €120 million bid. “I am waiting for news just like any of you, but I can confirm that we are no longer in the market for Ivan Perisic.” Less than twenty four hours later, Manchester United posts an Instagram video of Gareth Bale in a United number 7 shirt.
Inter Milan allow Antonio Candreva to leave for Chelsea, now that Perisic is not going anywhere. With the money they have just received, they start shopping around Europe for a winger.
Meanwhile, Barcelona announce the arrival of Phillipe Coutinho from Liverpool. Ernesto Valverde says, “We cannot possibly replace Neymar but Coutinho is an incredible player.” Newspaper reports in Spain however emerge that Coutinho has been signed as a long term replacement for Andres Iniesta and that Barcelona are still in the market for a forward.
Alexis Sanchez grows weary at Arsenal and hands in a transfer request. With Neymar now at PSG, Bayern Munich having cooled off their interest and the Chilean’s reluctance to return to Spain, the only other remaining suitor is Manchester City. “Why does every press conference have to be about Sanchez? I have told you before, we will not sell Sanchez,” reiterates Arsene Wenger amidst comments about how UEFA should invoke their Financial Fair Play policy in light of ‘diabolic transfer fees.’
Borussia Dortmund reject a €100 million bid for Ousmane Dembele from Barcelona, but knowing that they may eventually have to yield, they offer to sell Marco Reus instead. The Catalan club considers the idea, but eventually decides against it.
Sanchez is sold to Manchester City for a Premier League transfer record deal. An incensed Javier Pastore, who has just seen Neymar take away his number 10 shirt at PSG arrives at Liverpool. Inter Milan place a cheeky bid for Reus and are surprised that Dortmund sell. However, football pundits question why Inter have signed a player with a history of injury plagued seasons.
Wenger is asked whether he will replace Sanchez, to which he says, “We have [Alexandre] Lacazette, and [Thomas] Lemar is arriving from Monaco. Our policy is that if the right player is available at the right price, we will sign.”
On transfer deadline day, Barcelona sign Iker Muniain from Athletic Bilbao and Jonathan Biabiany departs Inter Milan heading for Arsenal.
The Manchester clubs, who have started the season well continue to dominate the first three months of the season in the Premier League. PSG are blowing away teams in Ligue 1 while Barcelona struggle in La Liga. In Serie A, Milan are on a resurgence but there is surprise as Inter emerge as closest rivals to Juventus with Reus dominating games.
In the Champions League, Bayern are surprisingly struggling as Liverpool dazzle.
Manchester City are knocked out of the FA Cup by a brilliant tactical display by Crystal Palace while Barcelona lose to Villarreal to surrender second place in La Liga to Atletico Madrid. Liverpool meanwhile win the League Cup against a spirited Southampton side.
PSG and Barcelona meet in the Champions League quarter finals where a Lionel Messi double at the Camp Nou gives Barca a 2-0 first leg advantage. In the second leg, Neymar dominates the game as PSG are 3-0 up by half time but with three minutes to go, Muniain sets up Samuel Umtiti for the away goal that knocks out PSG.
Barcelona seem to be back, but are knocked out by Real Madrid in the semi finals. In a repeat of the 2017 final, Real Madrid defeat Juventus to win a third successive Champions League setting up a UEFA Super Cup date with Europa League winners, Arsenal.
Managerial Merry Go Round
At the end of the season, Antonio Conte departs Chelsea and heads to PSG. Massimiliano Allegri is appointed by Chelsea while Unai Emery lands at AC Milan.
Tottenham Hotspurs fail to qualify for the Champions League and Mauricio Pochettino heads to Atletico Madrid to replace Diego Simeone who is on his way to Inter Milan. Despite stating that he will never manage Bayern Munich, Jurgen Klopp arrives in Bavaria as a sacked Carlo Ancelotti negotiates a return to Juventus.
Marcelino from Villarreal comes in as the new manager of Liverpool while a decent season from Southampton sees Mauricio Pellegrino mentioned alongside Thomas Tuchel for the Spurs job.
At the Camp Nou, a disaster of a season sees Valverde resign. The socios vote to impeach the club president and Joan Laporta returns to win a landslide victory as new Barcelona president. Sensationally, he attempts to return Pep Guardiola but when contract negotiations with City prove difficult, the job goes to Frank de Boer.
What other scenario would you have imagined? Feel free to leave a comment below.