Barcelona transfer roundup: Neymar joins PSG, interest in Darmian and more
Neymar joins PSG
After weeks of speculation and uncertainty, Neymar has finally joined the Ligue 1 giants. Paris Saint-Germain want to establish themselves as a powerhouse in Europe and with the addition of Neymar to their ranks, they can surge ahead in hopes of realising their European dream.
PSG have paid £198m to secure the services of the Brazilian star.
Talking about his new home, the 25-year-old said,
"I am extremely happy to join Paris Saint-Germain. Since I arrived in Europe, the club has always been one of the most competitive and most ambitious. And the biggest challenge, what most motivated me to join my new team-mates, is to help the club to conquer the titles that their fans want."
“PSG’s ambition attracted me to the club, along with the passion and the energy this brings. I have played four seasons in Europe and I feel ready to take the challenge. From today, I will do everything I can to help my new team-mates, to open up new horizons for my club and to bring happiness to its millions of supporters around the world.”
Barcelona and Bayern interested in Matteo Darmian
According to Daily Star, the Catalans and the Bundesliga giants are interested in Manchester United's full-back. Matteo Darmian arrived at Manchester United in 2015 when he was purchased by former Red Devils manager Louis van Gaal. He was reported to have cost a fee believed to be around £12.7 million, but has struggled to break into the first team ever since, with Antonio Valencia being prioritised over the 27-year old at right-back.
But with Luke Shaw out of the squad owing to an injury, Darmian has been Jose's first choice left-back. For the same reason, Mourinho will not be willing to sell the Italian.
Barcelona trigger Inigo Martinez's release clause
According to Spanish news publication Sport, the Real Sociedad defender's release clause of £32m has been triggered by Barcelona.
Inigo Martinez rose through the ranks at Real Sociedad and made his senior debut for the club at the age of 20. The 26-year-old has represented La Furia Roja four times and has seen his opportunities on the international front come at a premium owing to the presence of the likes of Carlos Pique, Sergio Ramos and Raul Albiol. He is currently considered as one of the best central defenders in La Liga.
Martinez, however, signed a new five-year deal in April in 2016 and therefore the Catalans will need to pay up or bow out. But with Mascherano, Pique, and Umtiti already in the squad, Martinez might not enjoy a lot of first team game time.
Anderlecht join West Brom in race for Thomas Vermaelen
West Bromwich Albion, who had earlier identified Thomas Vermaelen as their priority summer target, will now face competition from the Belgian champions, according to The Sun. The ex-Arsenal captain, who is 31 years old, has been deemed surplus to requirements at the Camp Nou and spent the last season on loan at AS Roma.
Anderlecht will be able to offer Vermaelen Champions League football and the added benefit of a return to his homeland. The Belgian side are looking to bring in reinforcements to their backline following the departure of Bram Nuytinck.
Everton, Watford and Crystal Palace have also been linked with the Belgian international.