Sports Burst - Is Neymar the New Bale?

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By Tim Stannard


Olive branch extended to Neymar as PSG look to follow path of Bale in transfer talk backtrack 


When Eden Hazard dropped out of contention for Real Madrid for the next month due to a hamstring injury, Sports Burst was imagining just how an awkward conversation between Coach Zizou and Gareth Bale might have gone. 

Some kind of golfing analogy could have been used - "we're in a sand trap, Gareth, and you are our wedge of destiny."

At the beginning of the summer, the French coach had openly suggested that it would be better for all if Bale were to leave Real Madrid. At the end, the Welsh winger was needed to bail Madrid out of a sticky situation, which he did very successfully by leading the way in Saturday's 3-1 win against Celta Vigo. Now, all is forgiven and there is no Bale-out for Real Madrid

The weekend now sees Neymar in a similar situation. Barcelona were not exactly going all-in for the Brazilian by offering spare change and players for the footballer. Now that the club has had an early glimpse of life without Messi in the opening day defeat to Athletic Bilbao, Neymar and PSG's bargaining position is considerably stronger. 

However, now that PSG has also glimpsed life without Neymar on the pitch this season, a fairly big Bale-esque backtrack from the Ligue 1 side might be required. 

PSG lost Sunday's away game at Rennes to leave Coach Tuchel praising the Brazilian. "If he stays - we will have a player who will help us win."

In just three days, Neymar has turned from a player who was facing exile at PSG and booed by fans into a potential savior for both the club where he is playing and a Barcelona side suddenly realizing that they need the return a footballer who once walked out on the them.

The Sports Burst live show will ponder all this and a lot more with our Gabrielle Amado and Ray Hudson on our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page at 12PM ET / 9AM PT. 

And Ray will be back with a brand new show called, quite simply, 'Magisterial' that debuts at 7:30PM ET / 4:30PM PT. Basically, all Ray all the time. 


Coutinho is fitted up for lederhosen in Bayern Munich deal 


Sports Burst is not quite done with all things Neymar and Barcelona as a move that was confirmed on Friday has finally taken place on Monday. 

That move is Philippe Coutinho joining to Bayern Munich on loan. Rather than making his way to PSG as a makeweight for Neymar, as was the great general theory of the summer transfer window, the Brazilian will ply his trade in the Bundesliga for the next year in a deal that could end up being a permanent one.


The loan fee for the campaign is $9.4 million with Bayern having an option to buy the player at the end of the season for $132 million. 

Coutinho spent just a season-and-a-half at Barcelona and failed to take off, while the side that sold him - Liverpool - went on to reach two Champions League finals. 

"A new challenge, in a new country with one of the best clubs in Europe," declared a probably very confused Coutinho. 

Let's now spin back to the words of Thomas Tuchel and PSG from Sunday. The German coach declared that if Neymar were to play for PSG this season then he would be an outstanding asset. However, were the footballer to leave then Tuchel demanded that a world-class replacement would have to be found.

Monday's transfer rumors sees that as a code for "bring me Dybala" who is still in an uncertain situation at Juventus just ahead of Serie A's restart. 


Everything is awesome with Manchester United who could top the table 


A matter that has been bugging Sports Burst for some considerable time now has finally been resolved. Manchester United boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is Emmet from the Lego Movie - the overly jovial lead character played by Chris Pratt who finds everything "awesome".

"Alexis Sanchez? - He's awesome!" 

"Paul Pogba? - He's awesome!"

Rather than Mourinho-ing his way around the Premier League, Solskjaer has no problems with players who want to leave - they secretly want to stay and are awesome - and he actively loves fulfilling the necessities of his well-paid job at Manchester United. "I enjoy what I am doing, I love my job and enjoy the game," declared the Norwegian.


Everything might become even more awesome at the end of Monday because a victory at the Portuguese enclave of Wolves in today's Premier League clash will put United at the top of the table after two rounds. 

Moving onto something else very awesome and the Turkish Super Lig wraps up its opening weekend. So far it has been a round with one or two wee surprises. 

Galatasaray, Besiktas, and Istanbul Basaksehir all lost to leave Fenerbahce the opportunity to get a lead on the rest of the division's heavyweights with a home clash against Gaziantepspor that is live on beIN SPORTS at 1PM ET / 10AM PT

Talking of table-toppers and a brand new show called Weekend Winners with Hope Solo and Jeremy St. Louis is launching on Monday and looks at the best of the best from the soccer weekend across the world. Tune in at 7PM ET / 4PM PT