The Catalan giant’s hopes of keeping the Brazil superstar Neymar are dead in the water as of Wednesday morning when Barcelona forward dropped by to inform his teammates that he will be leaving Camp Nou this summer.
Paris Saint-Germain will pay Barcelona mouth-watering €222 million to activate Neymar’s release clause which will become the world-record transfer in a move likely to reshape the world football for good.
Leo Messi and Luis Suarez have already bid farewell to their friend and partner in the prolific MSN trio, whereas Barcelona are expected to waste no time in finding the proper replacement for such an influential part of their team as the new season looms.
And even though the staggering €222 million transfer fee is close to being enough to buy you an entire team, Barcelona are likely to focus their attention on getting two deals done this summer as the Catalans looking for reinforcements in the centre of the park and – unexpectedly now – in attack.
Barcelona already attempted to sign Marco Verrati who was seen as natural heir to Andres Iniesta at Barcelona, whereas the club continues to be linked with former Tottenham man Paulinho.
When it comes to a more advanced role occupied by Neymar, Barcelona will have several options to think through. We have suggested earlier at our Instagram page four names that could be considered as possible Neymar replacements, although the Catalans have already added a couple of more names in the mix.
Liverpool magician will not be allowed to leave Anfield. It’s as simple as that and it’s the stance Jurgen Klopp confirmed on a couple of occasions over the past couple of days. The Brazilian playmaker was Barcelona’s attempt to persuade Neymar to stay as it was believed that Coutinho was the one player Neymar wanted as teammate at Camp Nou. The Reds rejected a couple of offers for their star who only signed a new long-term deal last summer. Coutinho is believed to be tempted by Barcelona interest, but more than willing to remain at a place he is happy and content.
From the moment he stepped on the brightest stage and started proving his worth in a Juventus shirt, Paulo Dybala was described as a perfect fit for Barcelona. Dybala’s technical ability and versatility are the two traits that set him apart and present him as the Cataln material, but Juventus are also holding their ground firmly. Bianconeri are reluctant to see their star man leave, but a significant offer could turn their heads and force them to reconsider their stance. Barcelona are hoping Messi’s relationship with the 23-year-old star could play a part in seeing the deal go through as well.
Tottenham star Dele Alli has unsurprisingly emerged as a possible Barcelona target after his impressive season with Spurs. The England international is coming off from a brilliant campaign during which he established himself as the leading figure in young and exciting Mauricio Pochettino’s team. The Spurs rate him extremely high and are ruling out the possibility to see him leave, more so with Tottenham being so silent in the transfer window thus far.
The French striker figures as a product of media imagination, even though Barcelona are indeen keen admirers of Antoine Griezmann’s talents. But the Catalans have promised not to raid La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid for a player who is seen as the next Manchester United player. Spanish media outlet Marca claim that Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu personally phoned his Atletico Madrid counterpart Angel Gil Marin to confirm no Griezmann will not be pursued.
The 20-year-old French forward has enjoyed a stellar breakthrough season with Borussia Dortmund during which Ousmane Dembele established himself as one of the hottest European prospects. Dembele never hid his desire to join Barcelona and was close to signing for the Catalan side last season, which is enough of a justification of his public pushes towards Borussia Dortmund exit. Dembele was involved in a training bust-up with teammate Roman Burki and could file a transfer request until the end of the summer. Five years Neymar’s junior, Dembele could be a perfect replacement for the Brazilian as an exciting wide man with pace and potential to fill in the big shoes.
Shocking news have been broken today by the French publication L’Equipe which claim that AS Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe has informed his club that he wants to leave this summer already. Even though he was expected to remain with the Principality club for another year, the 18-year-old is reportedly pushing for a move that could send him either to his desired club Real Madrid or Barcelona. It would not be the first time to see La Liga biggest sides get involved in a tug of war for a player as Neymar was the one fought over by Real Madrid and Barcelona, but the French forward appears to be closer to Los Blancos at the moment. Never doubt, however, that Catalans won’t do anything in their power to persuade Mbappe to change his mind and forget all about his love and admiration for Zinedine Zidane and his boyhood hero Cristiano Ronaldo.
Who should Barcelona pursue as Neymar’s replacement this summer?
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