Barcelona stars back Neymar to stay as speculation continues to swirl

The Brazilian continues to be the centre of attention

There is simply no keeping Neymar out of the headlines, with the Brazilian scoring twice as Barcelona beat Juventus 2-1 in their first pre-season friendly, and first game under Ernesto Valverde.

Neymar’s goals have done little to stop the speculation over his future with contradictory rumors continuing to swirl, and nobody any clearer as to whether he will head to Paris Saint-Germain or stay at Barca.

Over at Sport, they claim a very long chat with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez has convinced Neymar his future is at Camp Nou, and that he has told his two friends he will stay.

It’s the same story at AS too, who report that the club are optimistic their brilliant Brazilian will soon confirm his intention to stay.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s a different story altogether at Marca who claim Neymar is now a step closer to PSG after talks between the club and his father failed to find an agreement.

Meanwhile, other reports agree that talks between Neymar senior and club officials yesterday went badly, which is likely to push the Brazilian to PSG.

Sky Sports are reporting that “only a miracle” will keep Neymar in Spain now amid talks of him signing a six-year deal worth £500,000-a-week.

Who to believe then? Who knows, perhaps what we can glean from all of this is that Neymar’s father appears to be pushing for a move to PSG and it’s now up to the player himself to make the right (or wrong) decision.

Elsewhere, his team-mates have obviously been bombarded with questions about Neymar and Marlon Santos is backing his team-mate to stay.

“For me, Neymar is one of the best players in the world. I haven’t spoken with him but I hope he stays,” he told Sport.

“He’s our team-mate and one of the best. We want him to stay with us. We don’t need to convince Neymar to stay. He’s here with us and he’s going to stay.”

Sergi Samper who put in a fine display against Juve, also backed his team-mate to remain at the club adding: “Neymar will stay. He looks relaxed and he hasn’t given any hints that he wants to go.”

Valverde too was quick to address the speculation after the game insisting “We want Neymar with us” – but once again we’ve unfortunately heard nothing from the man himself.

Bartomeu guarantees Neymar will stay at Barcelona

This is one seriously big claim from the president

Josep Maria Bartomeu has guaranteed Neymar will stay at Barcelona, as speculation over a move to Paris Saint-Germain continues to dominate the headlines.

Just two days ago, Bartomeu insisted the Brazilian was not on the market and claimed it would be “impossible” for PSG to activate his release clause.

However, the president has now gone a step further by claiming there is no way Neymar will quit Camp Nou.

Bartomeu was at Bryan Park earlier today, for the presentation of a huge Barca shirt, and, according to Sport was asked “Can you guarantee with confidence that Neymar will remain in Barca?”

To which the president replied: “Yes, it is what we have always said.”

Now unless something has been lost in translation, that is one seriously huge claim from Bartomeu.

Some outlets have even gone so far as to claim that Neymar has already agreed terms with PSG, and that they will now spring his release clause.

Of course we’ve also seen reports today that Barca are growing convinced he will stay, and that the players have helped changed Neymar’s mind.

Either way, we may get more of a clue as to what is going on tonight when Barca take on Juventus in the International Champions Cup.

Will Neymar make Ernesto Valvede’s starting line-up against Juve? And if he does, will we be able to gain some clue as to his current mindset?

Here’s hoping we may see the end of this whole, sorry saga soon.

Has Neymar changed his mind? Now 80% chance he will stay at Barcelona – report

The whole transfer saga has taken a massive twist

Barcelona now believe there is an 80% chance that Neymar will stay at the club this summer, rather than leave for Paris Saint-Germain, according to RAC1.

Just days after we were told the deal to take him to the French capital was 95% done, it looks as there could yet be a huge twist to the saga.

Spanish journalist Gerard Romero has claimed that Barcelona club sources have confirmed to RAC1 that there is now an 80% chance that Neymar will stay.

They are reporting that the Brazilian may just have had a change of heart after speaking with his team-mates about his decision.

This is of course, in stark contrast, to widespread reports all over Europe currently that Neymar is close to a move to PSG, which could even happen as early as next week.

And so, what to believe? It’s difficult to know at this point, although there were reports in the Spanish press last night that Barca players had been trying to persuade Neymar to stay.

It certainly will need more than one source, until we can start to get excited (or annoyed depending on your viewpoint) that Neymar may now in fact be staying.

We may get more of an idea later, when Barcelona take on Juventus in the International Champions Cup, although it’s hard to say how this is going to play out at the moment.

And, as tiresome as this is, we can only expect more speculation until we get some kind of confirmation, and way or the other, that needs to happen as soon as possible.

Barcelona rumors: Dybala or Griezmann to replace Neymar, Deulofeu wants Barkley & Rafinha to Arsenal

No prizes for guessing which Brazilian features heavily today

Bartomeu & Neymar meet in New Jersey

Well, there’s only one place to start today and that’s with Neymar who held a 15 minute meeting with Josep Maria Bartomeu after training in New Jersey.

According to AS, the Brazilian expressed his desire to leave and Bartomeu asked Neymar for “a little more time to salvage the situation”. Good luck with that.

PSG to sign Neymar by Wednesday

Bartomeu will have to get to work on his salvage operation quickly because over at Sport they reckon Neymar could be a Paris Saint-Germain player as early as next Wednesday.

The report claims PSG will pay his release clause at the beginning of next week, the Brazilian will then leave the club’s US tour, with the French side hoping to have everything wrapped up by midweek. Eek.

Barca to replace Neymar with Dybala?

So if Neymar really does leave, who will Barcelona opt to spend their €222m on? Could Paulo Dybala be on his way to Camp Nou?

Well, that could well be the case, according to Marca, who reckon Dybala is Barca’s top choice and that the player would be more than happy to move to Camp Nou.

Or maybe Griezmann..

Don Balon also agree that Barca could move for Dybala, but they also have another name up their sleeves (of course they do) and it’s none other than Antoine Griezmann.

The Frenchman already knows La Liga well and would be viewed as a big enough signing.

However, even Don Balon acknowledge that prising him away from Atletico, where he only signed a new deal last month, will be super tough.

But Juve don’t fear Barca bid for Dybala

So what does Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri think about all this?

Well, funnily enough he was asked during a press conference as he prepares to face Barca as part of the International Champions Cup.

And he doesn’t seem too bothered at all to be honest, saying: “I don’t fear Dybala will go to Barcelona,” according to Calciomercato.

Deulofeu recommends Barkley to Barca

Neymar aside, there’s another cracker from Don Balon as they claim that Gerard Deulofeu has recommended Everton midfielder Ross Barkley to Barca.

Apparently Deulofeu has already spoken to Robert Fernandes about Barkley, who could be a cheaper (and, let’s face it, not as good) alternative to Marco Verratti.

Arsenal serious about Rafinha

And finally, not only have Barcelona offered Rafinha to Arsenal, but the Gunners are apparently seriously considering signing the Brazilian.

Apparently, the club are happy to let him leave for €30m, and he is anxious to be playing regular football ahead of next summer’s World Cup.

Would he get that at Arsenal? Doubtful, but that doesn’t seem to bother Marca one bit.

Valverde: Neymar is with us & we absolutely want him to stay

The coach has attempted to play down the speculation

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde insists he wants Neymar to stay as speculation over a move to Paris Saint-Germain continues.

The latest speculation claims PSG will look to spring his release clause shortly and Barca will turn to Philippe Coutinho as his replacement.

Barcelona are now in the United States for their pre-season tour, where they will face Juventus in the first game of their International Champions Cup campaign.

Ahead of the game, Valverde faced the press alongside Sergio Busquets, and was obviously asked about Neymar and his proposed move.

“Neymar is with us and we absolutely want him to stay here, the rest is just rumours,” he told reporters.

Reports have claimed Barcelona players have been trying to persuade Neymar to stay at the club and Busquets says he wants to continue at Camp Nou.

“I don’t know, it’s a question for Ney, like Valverde said, this is a time of rumours. I don’t know what will happen, only Ney knows,” he said.

“There’s nothing for me to tell Neymar, he already knows where he is. He can’t be anywhere better. I hope he stays for many years.”

Barca take on Juventus tomorrow and all eyes will be on Neymar, in what could potentially be one of his last appearances for the club, if, the rumours are true.

Barcelona players try to convince Neymar to stay – reports

His team-mates are asking him to stay

Neymar continues to hog the headlines at the moment and the latest reports are claiming Barcelona players are doing all they can to talk the Brazilian out of a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

What started out earlier this week as an outlandish rumor, has quickly gained credibility and whether we like it or not, it would now be no surprise at all if Neymar left this summer.

However, both Sport and Marca are reporting that Barcelona players have been talking to Neymar during training and are trying to convince him his future lies at Camp Nou.

Sport claim the players are “desperately” trying to keep hold of the Brazilian, that Luis Suarez spoke to him on the plane to the United States, and the rest of the squad have been trying to show him how much he is appreciated.

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The report also claims the squad are trying to tell him how, footballing-wise, he would be better off at Barca, but they are concerned they are not getting through to him.

Over at Marca, it’s the same story, with a report the players are trying to persuade him to stay and telling him they don’t want to leave.

Neymar continues to keep quiet although, he has taken to social media with a picture of himself looking thoughtful in training on Instagram, followed by a picture of himself on Twitter pointing to a tattoo of the word ‘Family’.

What does it all mean? Who knows, but for me, Neymar’s silence speaks volumes…

Barcelona bid €80m for Coutinho but Liverpool insist he is not for sale

Pretty sure we’ve heard this one before

Barcelona have apparently reignited their interest in Philippe Coutinho, having made an €80 million bid for the Brazilian, well according to the Daily Mail at least.

They claim that Barca view Coutinho as the perfect replacement for Andres Iniesta, and insist the bid has nothing at all to do with PSG’s attempts to land Neymar.

However, Liverpool have again reiterated that Coutinho is not for sale, with Jurgen Klopp asked in a press conference during the club’s pre-season tour.

“Yes [Coutinho is not for sale],” he said. “But that’s not since this morning or yesterday, it’s not been any different. Phil is a very important player for us.

“I’m not surprised that any club is interested in players at Liverpool. The very important message is that we are not a selling club and that’s how it is.

“We believe in working together and developing together. We want to make the next step together and for this we we need to stay together.”

Coutinho only signed a new deal which runs until 2022, last season, and the report claims if Barca are to have any chance they must pay more than the £75m they paid Liverpool for Luis Suarez in 2014.

Bartomeu insists Neymar is not for sale amid Paris Saint-Germain rumors

The president says PSG can’t activate his release clause because of FFP

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has vowed Barcelona will not sell Neymar, amid huge speculation he wants to join Paris Saint-Germain.

Reports in France today have claimed that the Brazilian’s father is set to meet PSG sporting director Antero Henrique shortly in Paris to finalise a deal.

However, Bartomeu who is now in the United States with the club’s pre-season tour, undertook an interview with the Associated Press and insisted he was going nowhere.

“He is not on the market,” he said before adding, “he has a contract for the coming four years and, of course, we count on him. He’s part of our team. He’s part of this trident.”

Speculation has claimed PSG will activate Neymar’s release clause, which stands at €222 million, leaving Barcelona powerless if the Brazilian wants to move.

However, Bartomeu hinted that if PSG were to activate his cause, it would mean they are not complying with Financial Fair Play regulations.

“These clauses are impossible to activate, if you want to comply with the financial fair play,” he added. “If someone doesn’t want to comply, then of course it can be activated.”

Strong words from Bartomeu, but the man I really want to hear from in all this is Neymar.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Emery discusses potential Neymar move

The coach says he needs one of the world’s best players

The Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain talk continues to dominate the headlines and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery has been asked about the Brazilian.

Like Barca, PSG are currently in the United States as part of their pre-season where they took on Roma, winning 5-3 on penalties, after a 1-1 draw.

After the game French newspaper L’Equipe took time to talk to Emery and pretty obviously there was only one line of questioning, and here’s what he said:

“If PSG want to rival Bayern, Real and Barcelona, we need a player in the top five in the world,” he said.

“Since he joined Barcelona, Neymar has progressed a lot. I witnessed this while with Sevilla. Now, he is among the world’s top five. The president and the club have been working for the past few years on bringing in the best players.

“The team, but also the fans, would be happy to boast a player in the top five, six or seven in the world on top of the strong players we already have here.

“After that, this quest is not over. Perhaps he will arrive, perhaps not.”

I think we can safely say that Emery would be happy if Neymar were to arrive, with today’s newspapers still full of all sorts of speculation.

However, interestingly there are also reports that PSG are in for Alexis Sanchez and officials are in London to discuss a deal for the Chilean.

Arsenal v Manchester United - Premier League
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Sanchez is in the last year of his contract, and while Arsenal don’t want to sell, he seems to have no intention of signing a new deal.

And if he doesn’t extend, and if Arsenal do not sell him this summer, they face him walking away for free next year.

Emery admitted he likes Sanchez, and Kylian Mbappe for that matter adding: “Sanchez and Mbappe are fantastic players. Moreover, Mbappe is French. I want French players at a French club.”

Of course if Arsenal do decide to sell Sanchez, they would much rather sell him abroad than to a Premier League rival, such as Manchester City.

And there’s where it gets interesting, because if PSG sign Alexis Sanchez for big-money, or even Mbappe, surely they will not chase Neymar too?

Barcelona target Verratti confirms Mino Raiola is his new agent

The Italian has said goodbye to Donato Di Campli

Barcelona target Marco Verratti has confirmed he has opted to change his agent, ditching Donato Di Campli, and hiring Mino Raiola who will now handle his affairs.

The news comes in the wake of Verratti having to apologise after Di Campli called him a “prisoner of Emir” amid huge speculation over a move to Barca.

Paris Saint-Germain subsequently released a video of Verratti, saying sorry for his agent’s words, and so it’s little surprise really to see him part way with Di Campli.

Verratti announced the news on social media but the interesting thing is that he has now opted for Raiola to take over his affairs.

He wrote on Instagram: “I communicate that with immediate effect the only person entitled to represent my sporting interests is Mr Mino Raiola.

“I thank the lawyer Di Campli for the excellent work done to date.”

‘Super agent’ Raiola is well-known for overseeing some of the biggest transfers in European football, including Paul Pogba’s world-record switch from Juventus to Manchester United last summer.

Raiola also oversaw Romelu Lukaku’s switch from Everton to Old Trafford and has also represented Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

That’s not all, Raiola also oversaw Gianluigi Donnarumma’s new contract at AC Milan, and as you can see, he tends to be a man who gets players exactly what they want.

So what does it all mean? Well, the speculation linking Verratti with Manchester United has already begun, and adding Raiola to that particular fire will surely only fuel it further.

And what of Barcelona? Well that potential deal has gone awfully quiet in recent weeks, even though earlier this season speculation was claiming that Camp Nou is Verratti’s preferred destination.

In fact in the current climate we may be left to wonder, has Raiola been brought in to help handle a deal that could potentially see Verratti head to Barca, with Neymar and a huge bunch of cash going the other way?

Or perhaps more likely, another new PSG and improved contract for Verratti this summer?