Messi and Ronaldo have been the two best players in the world for several years now, but Barcelona and Real Madrid need to plan for life after them, as the two stars approach the end of their peak years.
And both Spanish giants are convinced that Neymar is the answer, as Marca report that Real Madrid are willing to meet the Brazilian’s £144m buyout clause, while Barca boss Luis Enrique expects a new deal at the Camp Nou to be signed soon.
Irregularities over Neymar’s transfer from Santos to Barcelona, as well as tax issues, have given Los Blancos hope that the 23-year-old is unsettled and could be tempted into a switch.
But Barca are confident that their young superstar is happy in Catalunya, and is keen to keep playing with Messi and Luis Suarez. If he signs a new contract, the buyout will see a substantial increase.
Any move would certainly command a world-record fee, and astronomical wages. Marca add that one of Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, and Karim Benzema would need to depart to guarantee Neymar a permanent starting place.