Reports: Barcelona now target PSG star to replace Neymar
What's the story?
After losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222m transfer, Barcelona are now struggling looking to replace him with a player of similar calibre, if not the same. And according to Spanish outlet Marca, they have now turned their gaze to PSG's Angel Di Maria.
Barcelona have already had bids for Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele rejected by both clubs. While Liverpool have flatly refused to sell Coutinho at any price, Dortmund are willing to negotiate if the Catalan club offer at least €140m.
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Di Maria is no stranger to La Liga having previously played for Real Madrid before his departure in 2014. The Argentine winger had helped the club win La Decima (the club's 10th Champions League title) and was even named Man of the Match in the final.
Following his sale to Manchester United, the 29-year-old reportedly had a clause inserted in his transfer that prevented him from playing for Barcelona for a period of three years. That clause has now expired and he is free to sign for Barcelona - if PSG are willing to sell him.
The heart of the matter
The Catalan club have money in the bank and clubs have duly taken advantage of the Neymar transfer fee to increase the transfer value of their own players, which is why they are struggling to sign players such as Dembele.
Di Maria may also be willing to move to the Camp Nou to play alongside his international teammates Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano.
However, even though PSG may have to sell players to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations following Neymar's transfer, the Parisian club may not be willing to sell Di Maria to Barcelona after the Brazilian forward's transfer saga has strained relations between the two clubs.
Video: Di Maria's goals for PSG in 2016/17
This could be an ideal move for Di Maria and PSG if they are convinced to sell. With competition for place up front at PSG, there are as many as seven star players competing for three positions.
With Edinson Cavani and Neymar assured of starting up front, Di Maria will have to compete with Julian Draxler, Lucas Moura and Jese to take up the other wide forward role.
With Draxler making a huge impact following his January transfer, selling him may not be idea. However, Di Maria's current contract ends in 2019 while Draxler's deal runs out in 2021.
But will PSG sell? If they do, they will look to recoup more than just the £44.3m they paid to sign him from Manchester United.