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Phil Foden, Pedri… the 5 players who could break Neymar’s transfer record

By activating Neymar’s staggering €222m release clause in 2017, Paris Saint-Germain changed the world of football forever.

Neymar, who seemed destined to take over from Lionel Messi at FC Barcelona, ​​has become the most expensive transfer in football history. This transfer proved that no sum was big enough for a wealthy and ambitious club looking to make a marquee signing.

Since Neymar’s record-breaking move five years ago, there have been numerous transfers over €100m. The frequency of these big-money transfers is also expected to increase in the coming days.

Clubs are willing to shell out huge sums to afford generational footballers and it won’t be long before some of the century’s most sought-after players start finding new homes.

Below we present five young superstars who have proven themselves in the biggest competitions.

Here are five players who could potentially break Neymar’s transfer record (€222m) in the future.

#5 Phil Foden – Manchester City

Manchester City’s Phil Foden is one of Europe’s most versatile players. The England international, who came through the ranks of the academy at City, excels as a central midfielder. He also showed promise as a left midfielder and centre-forward in a false 9 system.

Foden, 22, is fast, works hard when not in possession of the ball, knows how to pass it around with ease and can pop up with big implications in goal.

Since being promoted to the senior team under Pep Guardiola in 2017, the Englishman has appeared in 169 games in all competitions for the club, registering 45 goals and 33 assists.

Foden, who could one day break Neymar’s transfer record, is currently valued at €90m by Transfermarkt.

#4 Vinicius Junior – Real Madrid

Liverpool FC v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final 2021/22

Neymar’s compatriot and Real Madrid striker Vinicius Junior enjoyed his best ever campaign in the 2021-22 season.

Under Carlo Ancelotti’s guidance, the 21-year-old improved his decision-making in the final third, emerging as the team’s second most important player behind Karim Benzema.

He blindsided the opposition with his electric speed, dazzled with his footwork and broke through defenses with his world-class touches, passes and goals.

Vinicius ended the 2021-22 campaign with 22 goals and 20 assists in 52 games in all competitions, helping Los Blancos win the Champions League and La Liga.

His most memorable contribution came in the Champions League final against Liverpool, where he scored the winning goal against the Reds in the 59th minute.

Vinicius, who is currently valued at a whopping €100m by Transfermarkt, sees his contract expire in 2024.

Being one of the best players in the team, the left-winger is expected to receive a better contract which is said to contain a €1bn release clause.

#3 Pedri – Barcelona

Levante UD v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander

FC Barcelona ace Pedri is considered one of the most talented central midfielders in the world today.

Valued at €80m by Transfermarkt, Pedri brings the Blaugrana the perfect blend of composure and explosiveness.

The Spaniard is an excellent dribbler, he rarely misses the wrong pass and has a knack for scoring important goals.

The 19-year-old has outperformed all of his FC Barcelona team-mates over the past two years and looks destined for great things.

Pedri, who was voted ‘Best Young Player’ at Euro 2020, appeared in 74 games for FC Barcelona in all competitions, scoring nine goals and seven assists.

The youngster also has 12 senior team appearances for Spain. He has yet to score for La Roja, but has provided an assist.

His current contract with the Blaugrana ends in June 2026.

#2 Erling Haaland – Manchester City

Borussia Dortmund v Hertha BSC - Bundesliga

After a successful stint at RB Salzburg, Erling Haaland joined Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund in winter 2020.

The Bavarians were quick to propel him into the starting XI, and it paid off beautifully. Haaland appeared in 15 Bundesliga games in his debut season, registering 13 goals and three assists.

He scored twice in two Champions League appearances and added another goal in a German Cup outing.

Over the next two seasons, Haaland appeared in 71 games for BVB in all competitions, registering 70 goals and 20 assists.

His meteoric spell at Dortmund caught the eye of several top clubs, but it was Manchester City who managed to win him back after activating his €60million clause.

Haaland is currently valued at €150m by Transfermarkt and has a five-year contract with his new employers.

#1 Kylian Mbappe – Paris Saint-Germain

Kylian Mbappe has what it takes to break Neymar's record in the future

Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappé is most likely to break Neymar’s transfer record of €222m in the future.

The Frenchman, who joined PSG from Monaco in 2017, has been the Parisian club’s most successful player for the past five seasons.

Mbappe, whose value is estimated at €160m by Transfermarkt, boasts unimaginable speed, blistering footwork, excellent decision-making and rarely blurs his lines in front of goal.

At 23, Mbappe is considered one of the most complete strikers of his era.

Mbappe, who scored 171 goals and 88 assists in 217 appearances for PSG in all competitions, came close to breaking Neymar’s record last summer.

Real Madrid have reportedly (via ESPN) offered PSG a colossal sum of €200m for his services despite having just one year left on his contract.

The Parisians of course refused, which paid off as they managed to sign him for a three-year extension.

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