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Former Manchester City and Brazil midfielder, Elano, has advised Neymar to ditch Paris Saint-Germain this summer to make a blockbuster move to Manchester City. Elano, who played for the Blues between 2007-2009, believes that the move would suit Neymar due to the Pep Guardiola factor at the Etihad Stadium.
Neymar has endured a rollercoaster ride since moving to the French capital in 2017. While he has helped the club to win four league titles and three Coupe de Frances, the Brazilian has failed in his goal to bring a first Champions League trophy to the Parisian Club that spent around £200m for his services six years ago.
He has also enjoyed a mixed relationship with the PSG supporters. Although he has escaped the recent dissent from the crowd due to being injured, he has been booed on several occasions over the past few years, and the time might now be right to move with Lionel Messi also heading for the exit. For Elano, who played with Neymar briefly at Santos, the perfect move for him would be to join the blue half of Manchester.
Speaking at a “Champions League Experience” event last week, the 41-year-old said:
“If I had that strength, I would want him to go to Manchester City. It would be good for him to work with Guardiola, I think it would be a good piece of advice. Leaving here, I can try to convince him but it’s not that simple.”
Elano’s admiration for Guardiola
Although Elano has an affinity with the club due to the two seasons he spent at the Etihad Stadium in the late 2000s, it’s his admiration for Guardiola that is the driving force behind his advice to Neymar.
The former playmaker is now a manager himself and is in control of the Brazilian side, Ferroviária. Although the side are currently in the fourth tier of Brazilian football, Elano has lofty ambitions and recently undertook a two-week internship with Pep Guardiola to learn more about the game and coaching at the highest level.
Pep Guardiola has won the league in 11 of his 14 seasons as a manager.
RIDICULOUS RECORD 🤯 pic.twitter.com/hq8vXwbgDY
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 21, 2023
The Spaniard has just led City to their fifth league title in six years and is widely regarded across the football world as the best manager in the game. Talking about his experience with Guardiola and his relationship with the Ex-Barcelona man, Elano said:
“The good that Guardiola does for world football is incredible. I had the opportunity to live with him for a short period of time in England. I’m really rooting for this guy to conquer more and more because he’s good for football.”
How would Neymar fit in at Manchester City?
It’s all well and good Elano trying to engineer a move for Neymar, who has been flirting with a move to Premier League, but would Pep Guardiola even want him? And how would he fit into City’s team if he did?
In reality, Guardiola has shown little appetite over the years for players who aren’t willing to put in the hard yards – particularly those who play out wide. Jack Grealish, who currently occupies Neymar’s favoured left-wing spot at the club, is tenacious with his defensive work and it’s hard to see how at 31 years of age, Neymar could change his game to do that too.
Despite that, the idea of Neymar playing in tandem with Erling Haaland is a fascinating prospect and may well end up being one that Guardiola can’t turn down.
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