What is the significance of Tuesday’s meeting between PSG and Barcelona?
The stakes have now been raised. The fact there is interest from Barcelona in re-signing Neymar is nothing new. Last month, PSG sporting director Leonardo said there had been “superficial contact” with Barcelona.
It is significant that Barcelona have sent two big hitters – director of football Eric Abidal and board member Javier Bordas – to get the deal over the line in person. As reported by Sky Sports News last month, PSG want players plus money as part of any deal. That dynamic always adds complications.
Will Philippe Coutinho leave the Nou Camp? We are told Bayern Munich are interested in signing him on loan, should he not be involved in any Neymar deal, but Coutinho’s preference is not to move to Germany. What about Ousmane Dembele leaving Barcelona as part of a deal? Something has to give.
Are Barcelona favourites to sign him again? It is still too premature to call. The transfer window closes on September 2 in Spain so there is still time to get this deal over the line.
Are Real Madrid in with a chance?
It suits everybody to create a bidding war between the two giants of La Liga. Real Madrid remain in talks to sign him, but, as of Tuesday afternoon, no formal offers have been made to PSG.
With Neymar, you always have to tread with caution. He is the ultimate ‘clickbait’ player. What about reports of a move to Juventus? ‘Fake news!’ screamed those with knowledge of the situation. Let’s see how the final few weeks of the window unfold.
Any chance of a swap deal with Gareth Bale?
This was quickly dismissed by sources at PSG. Bale’s relationship with Zinedine Zidane has broken down, but he was recalled to the Real Madrid squad for their final pre-season friendly against Roma on Sunday night.
How much will PSG demand?
PSG say Neymar can leave “if an offer suits”. They spent a world-record £200m+ when they signed him in August 2017. Given inflation for players in the transfer market, it is likely they will want at least that transfer fee back.
Will Neymar play again for PSG?
Highly unlikely, to put it mildly. PSG have tried to convince Neymar to change his mind but, as yet, he still wants to leave. The club has a duty to negotiate the best offer and everybody is working hard on securing an amicable deal for all parties.
But his contract is huge and only a handful of clubs in world football can afford him. PSG manager Thomas Tuchel says he can understand why supporters are frustrated with him and the club are protecting him, citing injury as a factor.
Neymar’s club relationship is tense. Sky Sports News reported last month that PSG were considering whether to withhold his monthly bonus after failing to attend pre-season training sessions. He denies the club’s version of events, but it highlights an uneasy relationship which everyone is working hard to end.