Barcelona are still actively pursuing Neymar, who has become a rebel at PSG, and we are hoping to complete the signing before the end of the transfer deadline day. The European window does not close until September 2, but Barcelona have been unable to make progress in the talks with PSG. The French outfit have been demanding in excess of €180 million for a player signed for €222 million in 2017.
The entry of Real Madrid into the picture has made Barcelona extremely worried about bringing Neymar. Unlike the Catalan outfit, the Los Blancos have been able to generate funds, required to sign Neymar, and they also have a couple of surplus players – Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez – to send the other way.
Barcelona are believed to have made an offer of €100 million along with Philippe Coutinho. However, PSG are not very keen on the Brazilian winger. Instead, Ousmane Dembele seems to be of more interest to PSG, who have requested that the French winger be made part of the deal, as per Sport. In his three years at the Camp Nou, Dembele has failed to make a substantial impact and Ernesto Valverde may be quite pleased to part company with the player.
Dembele has three years left on his contract while Coutinho’s contract expires only in 2023.
Initially, Neymar’s wages appeared to be a major stumbling block considering that any club would already be spending a huge sum of money in transfer fees. The player is reportedly making €38 million per season after taxes. This makes him one of the world’s highest earning players. However, Neymar is aware that clubs may not be ready to spend around €400 million – including transfer fees and wages over five years – on one player. Hence, he is reportedly ready to move even if the wages are at €23 million.
A major factor behind Barcelona’s interest is club president Josep Maria Bartomeu being keen on leaving a legacy at the club once his tenure comes to a close in two years.
The primary competition at this moment appears to be Real Madrid, who have been able to include cash along with James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale. This would be a tempting offer for any club, but it is understood that PSG have rejected the offer.
Neymar is not training with the rest of the squad, as he has been made to train alone. The rebel status at Parc des Princes has not gone well with the French club and its supporters, who voiced plenty of chants against the 27-year-old in the opening weekend’s match against Nimes. The mere fact that the striker has moved to the ‘point of no return’ at PSG significantly drops his transfer value. Barcelona are looking to utilise the situation in order to complete the move.
Ernesto Valverde would like the saga to be over as soon as possible, as it would help the Catalan outfit plan well for the forthcoming campaign. The La Liga 2019-20 campaign is almost upon us, and the uncertainty surrounding the squad does not help the club.