Paris Saint-Germain are not believed to be ready to give up Neymar easily, setting a price tag of €175m in cash for the Barcelona target this summer.
Before the coronavirus outbreak crippled football’s finances, Barcelona were understood to be pursuing deals for both Neymar and Inter forward Lautaro Martínez, who himself is expected to cost close to €100m, but things have changed significantly now.
Barcelona barely have the money to afford Martínez, instead pursuing numerous swap deals, and any move for Neymar appears to have taken a back seat. According to Sport, it won’t be moving to the front seat any time soon as PSG will only consider accepting a cash sum of €175m.
While football has been postponed, Barcelona have made tentative enquiries about bringing Neymar back to Camp Nou. The Brazilian is thought to be desperate to make the move, even rejecting a new contract to try and force it through, but it’s not looking good.
PSG quickly made it clear that while they are willing to let Neymar go, they are not interested in receiving any Barcelona players in exchange. They want cold, hard cash to pursue their own targets this summer.
Barça had hoped that they could use Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembélé and Samuel Umtiti to get the deal done, but PSG quickly turned them down. It’s €175m or nothing.
In what could be the least surprising statement of the summer, Barcelona can’t afford that. Nobody can.
As a result, Barça have taken a step back and are focusing all their available money on Martínez. If they can raise enough through player sales, then a move could well become possible again, but that’s a big if. Dembélé and Griezmann are no longer worth what they once were, and the same can be said of Philippe Coutinho. The value just isn’t there.
Neymar is under contract until 2022, but is believed to want to rejoin Barcelona
Neymar is under contract until 2022, but is believed to want to rejoin Barcelona | UEFA – Handout/Getty Images
A reunion with Neymar is still on the agenda for Barcelona, but it will likely be further down the line. He remains under contract until 2022, and the hope is that PSG’s stance may soften once he approaches the final year of his deal.
Neymar could choose to try his all to force through a move this summer, but the money simply isn’t there. If PSG don’t want players, this isn’t going to happen.