As if adding Antoine Griezmann wasn’t enough, Barcelona is still looking to add Neymar to its squad ahead of the upcoming season. Paris Saint-Germain has rejected an initial offer by Barcelona for the Brazilian star that included a swap of Ousmane Dembele and Phillipe Coutinho, and €40 million, which equates to approximately $44.8 million, Spanish publication AS reports on Tuesday.
Neymar’s departure from Barcelona to PSG back in 2017 was for a record €222 million, which is a tick under $250 million, and the club executives are looking to regain as much of that €222 million figure as possible in a sale or player swap. Neymar doubled down on his efforts to force an exit out of Paris when he rejoined the club () on Monday and held a meeting with sporting director Leonardo to express his desire to leave the club.
His time in Paris has been marked with more bad moments than good, including multiple injuries, suspensions and off-the-field problems. And that’s not to say he hasn’t dazzled when healthy for the Parisian club — he’s got 51 goals in 58 games. He just simply hasn’t been enough to get the team over the hump in pursuit of Champions League glory.
With Neymar reportedly wanting out of PSG, Barcelona swoops in and makes a big offer that is valued at more than the fee PSG paid Barca two years ago. Both Dembele and Coutinho joined Barca in separate transactions with transfer fees of over €100 million, but it feels like PSG is playing hardball due to the fact that Dembele and Coutinho failed to deliver in La Liga.
Dembele and Coutinho are two of the top talents in Europe, but neither has managed to string together impressive performances on a consistent basis under Ernesto Valverde. Coutinho has 13 goals in 51 league games for Barca, while Dembele has 11 in 46 league games, and scored 14 times in all competitions last season. Both have dealt with injuries that have seen them miss significant time.
It seems as if PSG will be wise enough to wait for a better offer, though nabbing two players with a ton of potential isn’t all that bad. Barca may be able to get a deal done by offering those two, but the cash sum will likely need to be significantly higher. The transfer window in Spain closes on Monday, Sept. 2.