Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has reportedly launched an investigation into the personal life of Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar to ascertain whether to make a world-record bid for the Brazilian this summer, per Sport (h/t Alex Martin for the Daily Mail).
Neymar is a "well known socialite," according to Martin, and so Perez is keen to discover whether the 26-year-old's private life could impact his career long-term. Perez is reportedly keen to make sure he does not make any mistakes with the Brazilian given any move would most likely be the most expensive in football history.
Neymar's social life is well documented on social media, but many pundits do not believe his off-field behaviour has any impact on his game.
His "playboy lifestyle has raised eyebrows in Spain," according to Pete Jenson in the Daily Mail when Neymar first signed for PSG, but such behaviour was "more than countered by his brilliance on the pitch."
This opinion was backed up by his current manager Unai Emery. "In training he is very good and away from football, he can enjoy himself with his friends," he said in November, per Spanish news agency EFE (h/t Panos Kostopoulos for Marca).
Nevertheless, Perez is reportedly investigating Neymar, not just because of his social life but to work out whether he would settle better in Madrid than he has in Paris.
Rumours that he is unhappy with life in the French capital grew following Neymar's brief return to Brazil in December for "personal affairs," which Emery said were "important".
There is little doubt Neymar would be a real coup for Real Madrid, whose season hasn't gone to plan so far. They take on PSG in the Champions League second round first-leg on Feb. 14 in desperate need of a win, with Zinedine Zidane's side struggling domestically. They are 19 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona.
Neymar, meanwhile, is flourishing on the pitch. He has 18 goals and 11 assists in 19 league matches so far, with a further six goals in the Champions League group stages.
🇧🇷 Neymar for PSG this season: 🗓 Games: 27 ⚽️ Goals: 28 🎯 Assists: 18 https://t.co/Udq8RO84jD2018-2-4 15:20:50
Perez also reportedly "suspects" that Neymar's father, Neymar Snr, orchestrated the sudden move from Barcelona to PSG, and so the Real president wishes to look closely at their relationship before deciding whether to make a bid in the summer, per Martin.
It looks as though this is just the beginning of a transfer saga that could roll on throughout the remainder of the season, making the meeting between Real and PSG this month all the more fascinating.