Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are set for a battle to sign Paris St-Germain’s Brazilian striker Neymar this summer.
It is looking increasingly likely that Neymar will depart the Parc des Princes this summer having failed to show up for training on Monday. Boss Leonardo has admitted that Neymar can go – for the right price.
It is thought that Neymar wants to return to Barcelona – the club he left two summers ago to join PSG in a world record £198 million deal.
Barca are thought to have been working behind the scenes on a deal to bring the 27-year-old back.
However, they may face competition from old rivals Real Madrid. They have long been linked with Neymar and it was thought likely at one point he would join them. Real president Florentino Perez has talked of his admiration for him – and regret at not signing him from Santos – in the past.
But Zinedine Zidane has already spent more than £300 million on new players this summer, so if they were to be able to afford Neymar they would have to sell some of their stars to ensure they don’t fall foul of Financial Fair Play rules.
PSG would likely want at least what they paid for the player and, given the length on his contract and age, probably more. Only Barca and Real could realistically afford it – Manchester City tend not to go for mega-signings such as this.
Championship side Leeds United are one of several clubs trying to sign Italian goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon.
Buffon, 41, has left perennial French champions Paris St-Germain but is not yet ready to retire. He spent one season in the French capital and had the option to sign for another year but did not take up the option.
Now, several clubs have contacted Buffon, who spent 17 years between the sticks at Juventus, about a potential deal – which is likely to be his last before he finally hangs up his gloves, according to Italian newspaper the Corrirere Della Sera.
Leeds United are said to be one of the sides wanting him. They lost in the Championship play-off semifinals last season. But talismanic manager Marcelo Bielsa has agreed to stay on, and the chance to play under a legend may tempt Buffon.
The other clubs understood to be interested are Porto – who are looking to replace another goalkeeping legend in Iker Cassillas, who retired after suffering a heart attack. Fluminense are the other club interested.
Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are both trying to sign Paris St-Germain forward Neymar this summer and could offer player-plus-cash deals.
Neymar has long been reported to be unhappy with life at PSG. On the pitch he has had success, winning successive Ligue Un titles, but his time there has been plagued with injury. They have also not won the Champions League – or even come close.
Now, it has been reported by Sport in Spain that Neymar has told PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi that he wants to leave the club and return to Spain.
This adds fuel to existing rumours of Neymar’s return to Spain.
Barcelona have been linked with a £90 million plus ab unnamed player bid to try and tempt PSG into selling.
Meanwhile Real Madrid are also said to be plotting something similar. Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo has claimed that Real are preparing a £115.5 million bid as well as offering Gareth Bale or James Rodriguez as part of the deal.
However, they have already signed Eden Hazard from Chelsea for £88 million so whether they pursue a deal remains to be seen.
What also remains to be seen is whether PSG want to sell. They may not want to keep and unhappy player but in that case would certainly want to recoup their £198 million outlay on him. Whether they would take a player-plus-cash deal is also open to discussion – as indeed is whether the players reportedly involved would want to go.
Watch this space – this story could run all summer.</
Perennial Ligue Un champions Paris St-Germain are planning to launch a bid to sign Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea this summer.
PSG are seeking a goalkeeper to replace the great Gianluigi Buffon, who announced yesterday he was leaving the club. There was an option for him to stay for a further year but it wasn’t taken up.
de Gea has matured into one of the best goalies in the world in his time at Manchester United. The 28-year-old produced a string of fine displays last season.
However, de Gea only has a year left on his current deal at Old Trafford and has been stalling on signing a new one, with wage demands – said to be £350,000 per week – at potential stumbling block. United’s failure to secure a place in next season’s Champions League could also influence his thinking.
Of course, such wages would be no object to Qatar-backed PSG, and they are in the Champions League with a realistic chance of winning it.
United would be loathe to lose one of their star players, but they will also be mindful of the potential for losing him for nothing in summer 2020 so could cash in. Press reports have speculated that PSG could bid £60 million for him.
If de Gea were to go, then other clubs, such as Real Madrid would be interested. Los Blancos have been linked with him for years and it is thought Zinedine Zidane wants a new keeper after Thibault Coutois’ indifferent campaign last term.
United would also want a replacement. Lille’s Mike Maigan has been mentioned, as has Barcelona reserve Jasper Cillesson – both of whom would cost about half of what de Gea would.
La Liga champions Barcelona are in talks with Paris St-Germain to re-sign Neymar, with Ousmane Dembele possibly heading to France as part of the deal, according to reports.
The Brazilian superstar has been rumoured to be wanting a move back to Spain for some time, having apparently not settled in Paris. Real Madrid were thought to be in pole position to sign him, but their rivals Barcelona appear to have stolen a march on them by opening talks, according to RAC1.
Neymar has been successful on the pitch for PSG in the two seasons since he joined them from Barca for a world record £198 million fee.
It is thought negotiations are at an early stage and any deal is likely to be complex.
Dembele could be a willing part of the deal. He made his name at Borussia Dortmund under current PSG coach Thomas Tuchel and could welcome working with him again. Plus his time in the Catalan capital has not been a roaring success due to injury and a loss of form, and a move could provide a fresh start.
Any deal would be huge and PSG would want to make they money back they spent on Neymar at least. The player still has three years on his deal and, at 27, is at the peak of his career.
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