The great big transfer rumour mill is now at full pelt. Some of the biggest names in European football are being linked with big-money moves, some back to their old clubs.
One of the biggest potential transfers of the summer could be Brazilian star Neymar leaving PSG. Reports from Brazilian news outlet Globoesporte Globo suggest that the 27-year-old is set for a return to Barcelona this summer.
However, the Catalan giants were widely expected to complete a long-awaited move for Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann this summer.
Griezmann the likely forward addition
This would be quite a quandary for the Spanish champions. It is an open secret that they are looking to bring in a new forward this summer and that forward. Most assumed that forward would be Griezmann after he revealed that he was moving on from Atletico Madrid.
A player does not generally release that sort of statement on his future unless he has agreed or is close to agreeing a move elsewhere. It was reasonable to believe that the Frenchman was heading to Barcelona after years of speculation over the move.
Griezmann would definitely add a different dimension to the Barcelona attack. He is also still only 28, so has a number of good years left in him yet.
Barcelona would have to meet Griezmann’s release clause, which is reportedly £108million. It seems the Catalan giants are attempting to raise the money by offloading some of their surplus players.
Neymar’s possible availability complicates matters
It seems that PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has had enough of Neymar’s behaviour since moving to the French capital, criticising certain PSG players for ‘celebrity behaviour’. The forward is known to live a party lifestyle off the pitch.
Now it seems the French club could be willing to part with the Brazilian international this summer. The Globoesporte Globo report suggests that Barcelona could sign the forward for a fee in the region of £90million plus players in exchange.
The likes of Ivan Rakitic, Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele are cited as players that could possibly be used as makeweights in the deal. The latter reportedly cost the Catalan giants an initial fee of around £105million when he joined from Dortmund in 2017.
Despite lots of potential, Dembele has struggled for game time at Barcelona. The 22-year-old is still highly-rated and could prove to be an attractive option for any exchange deal. Umtiti was part of France’s World Cup winning team in 2018 and would no doubt be a useful asset for the Parisians.
Rakitic endured a difficult campaign last season after helping Croatia to the World Cup final, which in he lost 4-2 to clubmate Umtiti. The 31-year-old had previously been linked with a move to the French capital.
Difficult to choose between the pair
This could all be paper talk. At the moment though, it seems that Griezmann is the more likely arrival at Barcelona this summer. However, football is a funny old game. The Catalan giants are favourites to be Neymar’s next club at odds of 7/2.
Griezmann and Neymar are both top players. However, personality-wise they are very different. Neymar is regarded as a flamboyant guy, Griezmann seems a rather less brash character.
Neymar is a fantastic football, but the Brazilian forward has got himself into all sorts of trouble in recent years off the pitch. Whether Barcelona wants to take on the all the controversy that seems to follow the 27-year-old around remains unclear.
An interesting summer lies ahead at Barcelona when it comes to transfers. However, it will be a massive surprise if neither of these two forwards end ups plying their trade in Catalonia next season.
Will Barcelona sign Griezmann or Neymar this summer?
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