Paris Saint-Germain have snubbed Barcelona’s initial approach for Neymar, with the Spanish giants having offered a host of first-team players including Antoine Griezmann to try and sweeten the deal.
Barca are keen to strengthen this summer despite the uncertainty surrounding football due to the coronavirus pandemic, with La Liga still suspended and players training individually at their homes.
They have made Neymar – who left Camp Nou in a world record £198m deal in 2017 – and Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez their top two targets as they look to refresh their attack.
However, Catalan newspaper Sport report that their first contact with PSG through an intermediary has been negative, with the French champions not even willing to consider selling Neymar right now.
PSG are preoccupied with solving issues such as salary cuts while the Ligue 1 season is suspended and they have 11 players whose contracts are up this summer.
Clubs across Europe, not just PSG, are scrambling to work out how to solve the issue of out-of-contract players leaving at the end of June, which could be bang in the middle of the rescheduled season.
PSG are also focused on trying to finish the Ligue 1 season, as well as the Champions League – having progressed to the quarter-final after beating Borussia Dortmund – and will not consider transfers until those campaigns have been finished, or voided.
Despite PSG’s current stance, Barca are optimistic that a deal can be agreed and believe a massive opportunity has opened up – particularly if FIFA decide to temporarily scrap the transfer window and instead permit deals right though until the end of January.
Barca’s hierarchy feel the current situation around Europe will also lower transfer fees considerably, with clubs instead trading and swapping players.
They have a host of players they are prepared to give to PSG in exchange for Neymar – including Griezmann, Samuel Umtiti and Philippe Coutinho – and the French side are thought to be especially keen on Griezmann.
Despite leaving Camp Nou in rather controversial fashion, Neymar is privately believed to regret his decision and would welcome a return to Catalonia in the near future.
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