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Barcelona eye Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar as Lionel Messi replacement

FC Barcelona v Real Betis - La Liga Santander
FC Barcelona v Real Betis - La Liga Santander
Varun Totadri
ANALYST
Modified 16 Nov 2020, 14:27 IST
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Barcelona will reportedly look to sign Paris Saint-Germain attacker Neymar if Lionel Messi decides to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season. Neymar left Barcelona in 2017 to join PSG, but has frequently been linked with a move back to the Camp Nou in recent years.

As part of Barcelona's attacking trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez, Neymar won the continental treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League, and finished third for the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2015 for his performances.

Neymar then won a domestic double in the 2015–16 season. In 2017, Neymar completed a shock move to Paris Saint-Germain in a transfer worth €222 million, making him the most expensive player ever.

Neymar has been widely tipped to make the switch back to Barcelona after three years at PSG. The Brazilian was reportedly close to a move back to Barcelona in the summer but with the Catalans being strapped for cash, the transfer failed to materialize.

PSG are now keen to tie Neymar down to a new deal. Sporting director Leonardo has confirmed that talks are underway regarding a new contract for Neymar, whose current deal expires in the summer of 2022.

Neymar tipped to replace Lionel Messi at Barcelona if he does not sign a contract extension with PSG

Deportivo Alaves vs Barcelona - Copa Del Rey Final
Deportivo Alaves vs Barcelona - Copa Del Rey Final

However, according to Sport, PSG will still consider the option of selling Neymar for the right price, if they cannot agree a new deal with the 28-year-old.

Neymar has reportedly been desperate to return to Spain but in recent weeks has given hints that he will sign a new deal with PSG.

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Should PSG and Neymar fail to come to an agreement over a contract extension, the French champions will reportedly entertain offers of €100 million, despite spending €222 million on him just three years ago.

Neymar's potential move to Barcelona hinges on the future of Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou. The Argentine made clear of his intentions to leave Barcelona at the end of last season, but was forced to stay at the club after his representatives failed to find a way out of his €700 million release clause.

Messi was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City, where he would reunite with former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola. The 33-year-old's contract with Barcelona expires at the end of the season, and it seems likely that he will leave the Blaugrana in search of a new challenge.

The Catalan giants are, however, desperate to keep a hold of their talisman, and will look to offer him a contract extension over the next few months to make sure he spends the rest of his career at the club.

Published 16 Nov 2020, 14:27 IST
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