Paris Saint-Germain approached Manchester United about the possibility of directly swapping Neymar for Paul Pogba, although it is understood the Premier League club currently think the deal for the Brazilian would be far too expensive to justify.
Both players face uncertain futures, as both are “desperate” to leave their current teams. Pogba wants out of United, with Real Madrid his first choice, although Juventus and PSG are similarly interest him.
Neymar meanwhile wants to quit the French club, with president Nasser Al-Khelaifi appearing to open the door last week by admitting the Ligue 1 champions only want those willing to show “total membership of our project”.
The Independent has been told by well-placed sources PSG had already attempted to find a solution to the impasse by raising the possibility of a direct swap with United for Pogba, in discussions between the two clubs.
Although Neymar would represent the type of marquee signing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward usually targets, it is understood they are put off for two reasons. The main one is that the cost of any deal would be too high, even for United.
It is believed Neymar gets paid around £900,000 a week, which would be double even what Alexis Sanchez is paid, and could create another such problem within the team.
The second issue is that Woodward still badly wants to keep Pogba. While many people around the football team could be persuaded to sell, the hierarchy are not so convinced.
The deal currently has little chance of happening, and former club Barcelona are still seen as Neymar’s likeliest destination this summer.