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Barcelona officials in Paris to discuss Neymar-Coutinho deal - Reports

Two of Europe’s superpowers are looking to do some major business before the window shuts next month.

The Brazilian team-mates could be heading in opposite directions.
The Brazilian team-mates could be heading in opposite directions.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

BARCELONA OFFICIALS HAVE today headed to France for talks with Paris Saint-Germain to seal a return to the Spanish club for Brazilian star Neymar, according to reports.

The club’s director for football, retired French international Eric Abidal, and two other top club officials flew to Paris to meet with their Paris Saint-Germain counterparts, Catalan radio Rac1 and Catalan television TV3 reported.

“The breakthrough is significant as PSG had up until now refused to meet with Barcelona emissaries but it does not mean that the deal is close,” Rac1 wrote on its website.

The deal that the Barcelona officials will propose reportedly includes fellow Brazilian Philippe Coutinho plus €100 million. Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic could also be used as a makeweight. 

Former Liverpool schemer Coutinho has been linked with a loan move to Bayern Munich in recent days too. 

PSG revealed on Saturday that Neymar transfer talks are “more advanced than before” after the Brazilian was dropped for the French champions’ opening Ligue 1 match.

Sporting director Leonardo confirmed to reporters that the Brazilian was near the exit door but that PSG were “not yet ready to give their approval” for the transfer.

Real Madrid or a return to Barcelona are the most likely destinations for the world’s most expensive footballer, who won two La Liga titles and the 2015 Champions League in four years with the Catalan side.

Sports newspaper AS has reported that Neymar has been offered to Madrid by PSG, who are open to selling if they can either recoup the €222m they spent on him in 2017 or receive half that amount with players included in the deal.

But Barcelona-based Mundo Deportivo says that he would prefer a move back to Catalonia to play alongside former team-mates Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

© – AFP 2019

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