The Catalans have been persistently linked with a move for Neymar for some time now. The Paris Saint-Germain player too has shown an interest in returning to Barcelona.
Barcelona willing to swap star forwards for Neymar
It has been reported that Barcelona would be willing to swap forwards Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann for Neymar.
The deal would be extremely controversial as well as complicated. Neymar left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record fee of €222 million in 2017.
However, it is fair to say that the move hasn't worked out the way it was supposed to. While the Brazil international has been exceptional when he has played, injuries have meant that he hasn't been able to contribute many minutes.
Moreover, Kylian Mbappe has taken over the status of talisman for the PSG side, a source of consternation for Neymar.
The 28-year old is said to favour a return to Barcelona, where he played some of the best football in his career. However, the deal won't be easy to structure, with Barcelona lacking the finances to pay PSG their asking price. It has been reported that PSG and Neymar have an agreement to let the forward leave this summer.
Because of this, Barcelona would be open to a swap deal with the French giants. Griezmann joined the Catalans from Atletico Madrid last summer for a fee of €120 million. However, the forward has failed to replicate his Atletico Madrid form at Barcelona.
Having found himself on the bench multiple times under coach Quique Setien, the France international is said to be thinking about his future. He has made 29 starts in the league, scoring nine goals and providing four assists. Over the recent weeks, he has been resigned to the role of a substitute.
On the other hand, Dembele's stint at Barcelona has been hampered by injuries. The 23-year old joined Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of €105 million in 2017 and was seen as the direct replacement for Neymar.
However, the winger has missed 86 games for Barcelona due to injuries since joining the club, which approximately amounts to two seasons worth of games.
Dembele has been linked with moves to multiple European clubs over the past few months. Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United are all keeping an eye on the Barcelona player, while Paris Saint-Germain is interested as well.
It remains to be seen whether the Ligue 1 champions would be willing to let the Brazilian go. Neymar has a contract at the club till 2022, so PSG do not necessarily have to sell him this summer.
Meanwhile, Barcelona are focussing on the outgoings right now. The club have highlighted Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez as their primary transfer target. Barcelona are now in the process of selling players to raise funds for the Martinez transfer. The Argentine is seen as an ideal replacement for an ageing Luis Suarez.
Published 08 Jul 2020, 00:58 IST