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Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Guillem Balague provides in-depth update on Barcelona & Real Madrid’s Neymar pursuits

Spanish journalist Guillem Balague has this afternoon provided a lengthy update on Barcelona and Real Madrid’s respective pursuits of Neymar.

PSG troubles

The story surrounding the future of Brazilian superstar Neymar has dominated the European headlines for months now.

Neymar of course departed Barcelona for Ligue 1 giants PSG two summers ago, for a world-record 222 million euro fee.

To this point, however, the 27-year-old’s stint in France has proven somewhat underwhelming.

All told, Neymar has directly contributed to a frankly-staggering 80 goals across 58 appearances in PSG’s colours.

However, while the Santos youth product has absolutely dazzled when fit and firing at the Parc des Princes, a pair of long-term injury problems have seen the 27-year-old confined to the sidelines when PSG have needed him most in each of his two seasons in Paris.

PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 24: Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain during the Group C match of the UEFA Champions League between Paris Saint-Germain and SSC Napoli at Parc des Princes on October 24, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

This, coupled with rumours of mounting tension between Neymar and the French champions’ board, has seen speculation mount that the South American could be on the move this summer.

Coutinho swap talks underway

To this point, meanwhile, the attacker’s former club, Barcelona, have been the outfit most persistently-touted as a potential destination.

Despite having already added Antoine Griezmann to their star-studded attack this summer, the Blaugrana are said to be eyeing one more signing up top.

And reports this past weekend revealed that progress towards a Camp Nou return for Neymar was being made.

As per Mohamed Bouhafsi of RMC Sport, a swap deal involving Philippe Coutinho is gaining traction, with major developments expected to be forthcoming this week:

Neymar wants out/Coutinho happy to join PSG

And, as outlined above, Guillem Balague of BBC Radio 5 Live, Diario AS and more has this afternoon provided a further insight into the situation.

A new meeting between Barca and PSG was set for today, with the former said to be ‘optimistic’ regarding negotiations. The two clubs, though, remain apart in their respective valuations. Crucially, Neymar has made it clear that he ‘does not want to play for PSG again’.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, reportedly see their chances of securing the Brazilian’s signature as slim, while Gareth Bale does not want to be included in any potential deal.

Finally, Philippe Coutinho is said to be open to the possibility of making a move to the Parc des Princes, though Bayern Munich are also in the running for the former Liverpool man:

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