Arsenal have been told that beating Manchester United to Sheikh Jassim’s proposed blockbuster first signing would be an ‘incredible move’ for Mikel Arteta’s improving side.
The Gunners have certainly been splashing the cash this summer, bringing in Kai Havertz, Declan Rice and Jurrien Timber so far as they look to go one better than last season’s second-placed Premier League finish – having led the way for much of the campaign.
Their antics in the summer window has also seen them tipped as a potential destination for PSG superstar Neymar, whose future in the French capital remains up in the air.
The Brazilian forward has already been labelled as Sheikh Jassim’s ‘dream’ first signing to make an immediate impact at Old Trafford, if he is successful in taking over from Glazer family.
However, the current owners are dragging their feet on picking between Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe and there are still major questions over whether the club will ultiamely be sold.
And now former Arsenal forward Julio Baptista has urged his old club to jump in and make a statement themselves by snapping up Neymar, who he firmly believes can adapt to the English game.
“I think it is unfair to say the Premier League would be too physical for Neymar,” Baptista told Gambling Zone. “French football is very physical and he’s made some incredible appearances there. For Neymar, Arsenal would be an incredible move because he needs a change in his life.
“He’s given his all for PSG but maybe they don’t give him what he needs. He needs something different. Players need to be happy. I haven’t spoken to him in a long time but a move would be the best thing for his career.”
Martinelli, Neymar could form deadly Arsenal duo
And while the Gunners already have a Brazilian winger of their own in the shape of Gabriel Martinelli, Baptista thinks the pair would form a strong partnership at The Emirates – as they have in international colours.
He added: “Gabriel Martinelli is an incredible player and he had an amazing season and I think Neymar could play with him. When you have good players, you try to find the space in the team for all of them, but for sure Neymar is the kind of player you need to work around.
“You can put Neymar on the left-wing, in the middle or behind the striker. He can play in any position across the front-three, so can Martinelli. When people ask about fitting in players like Neymar, for me it’s rubbish. It depends on the players you have and the instructions you give them, he needs to know what they’re doing.”
Arsenal are also thought to be in a stronger position financially than United, who has FFP potentially hanging over them as well as the uncertainty surrounding the takeover process.
However, at this stage, there has been no firm indication that the Gunners wish to bring Neymar to north London, especially as they already have Bukayo Saka doing an outstanding job opposite Martinelli in Arteta’s attack.