Barcelona has reportedly made “first contact” with Paris Saint-Germain regarding a possible summer move for former forward Neymar who has emerged as president Joan Laporta’s top transfer target.
Speculation regarding a Camp Nou return for Neymar has ramped up in recent weeks with the Brazil international still yet to sign a contract extension at the Parc des Princes that was reportedly agreed back in February, according to ESPN.
Neymar has a “crazy desire” to return to Barcelona and the move would also help convince Lionel Messi, who is out of contract this summer, to stay at the Camp Nou, according to RAC1.
The report adds that Barcelona is “confident” of being able to land Neymar for a fee of €130 million ($156m) plus three players. Neymar left Barcelona in 2017 after his €222 million ($263m) release clause was activated.
It’s also worth noting that Neymar’s current PSG deal expires in 2022 which means the French champions may be minded to sell this summer if he does not renew his contract in order to avoid potentially losing the forward for free next year.
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Barcelona Players Up For Sale
There is no mention in the report of which Barcelona players could be included in a deal for Neymar, but there’s no doubt the cash-strapped Catalan giants have a host of players that could depart this summer.
As many as nine players, including big-money buys such as Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, may be offloaded to help ease the club’s financial problems, according to Darren Wells at the Mirror.
The emergence of Ilaix Moriba could also spell the end for midfielders Miralem Pjanic and Riqui Puig, according to Marca. The 18-year-old has risen ahead of both players in the pecking order at the Camp Nou this season.
Sergi Roberto is another player facing an uncertain future. The versatile 29-year-old has been offered a one-year contract extension but is not too happy with the offer, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Neymar Willing To Take Pay Cut?
Any possible deal to bring Neymar back to Barcelona could be helped by the Brazilian’s reported willingness to take a pay-cut to secure the move. According to Marca, Neymar would be open to reducing his salary. Neymar currently earns €70 million gross annually at PSG.
Laporta and Barcelona will still have their work cut out funding the transfer as well as convincing PSG to enter into negotiations to sell Neymar. Yet PSG is not in a strong bargaining position with Neymar heading into the final year of his contract.
The Brazilian has talked about his future this week and told RMC Sport that “everything is nearly sorted” with regards a new contract. However, speculation over the 29-year-old’s future will continue until the extension is finally signed, sealed and delivered.
Neymar also made it clear in December 2020 that he’s desperate to play with Lionel Messi again and will know time is running out with the Argentine set to turn 34 in June.
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