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 2017-18 La Liga Fixture List Released

After a traditional long wait, La Liga finally released its much anticipated fixture list for the upcoming 2017/18 season. More details are available in the table below, but as is customary in Spanish football, times and dates for the games will be announced at a later date, so don’t mark your calendars just yet.

The much anticipated league El Clasicos have been scheduled for round 17, at the Santiago Bernabeu, and round 36 at the Camp Nou. The first El Clasico, however, has a massive question mark above its date, currently tentatively scheduled for 21 December 2017, as Real Madrid will be competing in the Club World Cup around that time.

It’s time for the silly season to end and meaningful football begin.

FC Barcelona News: 21 July 2017; Neymar Saga Continues, Barca Renew Interest in Paulo Dybala

Barça complete first two-a-day at the Red Bull Training Facility | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona crossed the Atlantic on Thursday, but the players most certainly haven’t been taken to the United States just to get a gentle summer break. There is work to be done, and after getting a good night’s rest at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel, Ernesto Valverde and his men were up bright and early for a 9.30am local time (3.30pm CET) training session at the Red Bull Training Facility in Whippany.

A familiar Juventus with a few new faces | FC Barcelona
The current Italian league champions Juventus are FC Barcelona’s first opponents on their US tour. La Vecchia Signora claimed their sixth scudetto in a row last season and coach Massimiliano Allegri can count on the majority of the squad that also reached the Champions League final in 2016/17, losing to Real Madrid in the final after having eliminated Luis Enrique’s Barça side in the quarter finals.

When and where to watch Juventus vs FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona’s American tour begins with a bang today when they face current six-time Serie A champions Juventus. It’s Ernesto Valverde’s first game in charge, and his reign opens with a real test against a side who did the domestic double in Italy as well as reaching the Champions League final.

Barcelona will leave Neymar’s decision on future up to him, his father – source | ESPN
Barcelona have grown tired of the ongoing Neymar speculation and will leave a decision on the player’s future up to him and his father, a source close to the Catalan club has told ESPN Deportes. Various reports this week have linked Paris Saint-German to a possible move for the Brazilian star, who has a release clause that would allow him to end his contract at Barcelona for €222 million.

The great Neymar debate: Should he stay at Barcelona or join PSG? | Eurosport
His achievements will always come with that caveat. For a player as talented as Neymar it must grate a little to be reduced to the role of supporting act. An outrageously talented supporting act but a supporting act all the same. It says much for their friendship that a subservient professional relationship has not boiled over.

Mascherano on Neymar: I hope he’s here with Barcelona for many years | ESPN
Javier Mascherano has told ESPN FC that he still thinks Neymar can be Barcelona’s future amid increasing reports that Paris Saint-Germain will pay the Brazilian’s €222 million buyout clause. Media outlets in Brazil, Spain and France are now all reporting that talks between the forward’s representatives and PSG are at an advanced stage, with RAC1 suggesting an agreement is 95 percent complete.

Report: Barcelona interested in Juventus forward Paulo Dybala | SportsMole
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has made Juventus forward Paulo Dybala his top summer transfer target, according to a report. The Argentina international enjoyed his most impressive campaign to date last time out, scoring 19 goals and setting up a further seven as Juve fell just short of winning the treble.

Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho not for sale, says Jurgen Klopp | Sky Sports
Sky Sports News revealed on Thursday that Barcelona want to sign the Brazil international this summer and are willing to pay more than £70m. Coutinho pledged his future to Liverpool in January by signing a new five-and-a-half-year contract, with the deal including no release clause.

Sergi Roberto says he’ll play ‘wherever the coach asks’ | FC Barcelona
Thursday morning in Whippany, New Jersey was a scorcher. Minutes following Barça’s first training session on U.S. soil during this, their 2017 summer tour in the United States, two players, still drenched in sweat as the midmorning temperature here continued to rise, emerged from the main building and sought refuge in one of the few slivers of shade available.

Josep Bartomeu expects Xavi Hernandez to manage Barca one day | ESPN
After winning 15 major titles at Barcelona, Xavi Hernandez is expected to return to the club and win some more — as their coach. Speaking on Thursday during an interview at The Associated Press’ headquarters, Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu said Xavi is using his time at the Qatari club Al Sadd to prepare for a future role in Spain.

Belletti gives his verdict on new signing Semedo | FC Barcelona
One right back to another, Juliano Haus Belletti to Nélson Semedo; the hero of FC Barcelona’s second Champions League victory is now a Club ambassador during the tour of the USA and from there he gave his thoughts on Barça’s latest signing. “Nélson Semedo is a strong player with technical ability and I think Valverde will use him in a system that makes the most of his attacking abilities,” believes Belletti.

Jasper Cillessen says he’s staying at Barcelona amid Crystal Palace links | ESPN
Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen says he will stay at the club despite reports claiming Crystal Palace are interested in signing the Dutch goalkeeper. Cillessen joined Barca from Ajax last summer but was restricted to just 10 appearances in his first year at the club, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen preferred ahead of him.

President Bartomeu speaks to the US media | FC Barcelona
Barça have only been in New York for a few hours and the local media is already buzzing. Josep Maria Bartomeu had a date first thing on Thursday morning with some of the biggest names in the US: Bloomberg, Associated Press, Forbes and New York Times.

See how Barça is managing its equipment on this year’s U.S. tour | FC Barcelona
How entertaining would Barça be if they had nothing to play with? Football requires plenty of equipment, every piece of which plays a role in the team’s training sessions and on game days. See how Barça is managing everything on this summer’s tour in the U.S. and why having a special place just for the equipment is so important.

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.

Neymar’s Transfer to Paris Saint-Germain is 95% Done, Says CatalunyaRadio

PSG consider it practically a done deal, they say.

Paris Saint-Germain consider Neymar’s capture practically a done deal, says CatalunyaRadio, generally seen as a reliable source. The show Club de la Mitjanit say the transfer is “95% done.”

Barcelona will not ask for a euro less than the 222 million release clause, and no players are expected to be part of the deal.

Key to the deal is the fact that Neymar’s father, Neymar, Sr., will earn a hefty commission fee for the transfer. The father, who acts as the star player’s agent, is thought to be in for an even bigger fee than the 40 million he received when the Catalans signed him from his hometown club, Santos FC.

With Neymar’s father rumored to be due a fortune, and perhaps, some additional non-monetary considerations… and PSG rumored to be ready to pay the 222 million… the only person who can stop this is the player himself.

Again according Club de la Mitjanit, FC Barcelona is trying to convince the forward to remain at the Camp Nou, but Neymar has not committed to staying.

Through Barcelona’s Eyes: The Pros and Cons of a Neymar Departure

As the hours tick, more and more wood is being thrown on an already simmering fire. After initially only emanating out of Brazil, outlets in France and Catalunya are now reporting that Neymar’s move to PSG may very well be in the works. Now, assuming all of these reports come to fruition, what exactly would Neymar’s departure mean for Barcelona going forward?

Let’s lay out the pro’s and con’s.

Pro’s

Money more evenly distributed – Let’s be real, €222 million is an astronomical figure. For that amount alone, Barca could reinvest in 3 to 4 extremely high caliber players. Trusting this board to find the right fits would be another question all together, but at least the option would present itself.

It’s also no secret that Barcelona currently have the highest wage bill in world football at an eye watering €313 million per year. This has been hovering dangerously close to the threshold mandated by La Liga that the wages of ones players cannot be 70% of the economic power of the club. With another €562 million expected to be invested in the redevelopment of the Camp Nou in time for the 2021 season, any additional funds could come as a welcomed investment for the club’s hierarchy.

Improving the team dynamic – Neymar’s seven minutes and seventeen seconds of divine intervention against PSG, which included two goals and an assist, were enough to book him a spot into Barcelona lore forever. It was a transformative moment. A moment in which the superstar said “Get the *bleep* out of my way, I got this.”

Left rubbing your eyes, you’d be lying if you didn’t think it: “Did this kid just become the best in the world?” Unfortunately, behind all of the brilliance, child-like petulance and bouts of immaturity are not always far behind. His red-card at Malaga a few weeks later did nothing to shed this reputation, while his lack of teamwork and tactical nuances have also left much to be desired. Valverde will have a tough task ahead of him and there have been doubts if he demands the type of respect that will get through to Neymar.

Beware of the Ronaldinho effect – Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Once upon a time, Barcelona possessed another mercurial Brazilian with unmitigated talent and a penchant for the nightlife. With the world of football seemingly at the mercy of his virtuosic feet, Ronaldinho had it all. He had brought Barcelona back to the pinnacle of world football, but it never seemed like it was enough. Late nights spent partying eventually took their toll, rendering a once incredible player to an out-of-shape shell of himself. Although Neymar has yet to reach Ronnie’s lofty standard, he isn’t trending far behind:

“I think you have to start by looking at what I do on the pitch,” Neymar said. “The moment I am off the field it’s my personal time. “I like to go out and have fun with my friends. I have family too so why can’t I go out to clubs? I can and I will. I am well aware what my duties are the next day. I am going to keep going out and I don’t see anything wrong with that.”

With a father for an agent and an entourage that are determined to see Neymar be the star of the show, ridding itself of this yearly summer spectacle could be the best option for all parties involved.

Con’s

No true Neymar replacement – All summer Barcelona have flirted with the prospect of bringing Marco Verratti to the Camp Nou and, while the Italian is an incredible talent, there’s no denying that other players in the game can do what he does. On the contrary, there’s no left winger in the world that can offer what Neymar does. Masquerading as a wrecking ball to opposing defenses, Ney is able to create guaranteed opportunities for others game-after-game. His take-ons are almost always successful, resulting in other defenders dropping out of position to cover while leaving waiting teammates all alone. While Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele is probably the closest imitation we have in the sport, he is predominantly a right winger. Switching a young player’s position is always risky business, no matter how good he is.

The heir to Lionel Messi – Going on five years now, Neymar has been relegated to stand in Messi’s shadow. While that frustration is certainly palpable, there is no denying that the experience has done nothing but improve the Brazilian’s game in a myriad of ways. Since joining the club, he has a combined 185 goals/assists in 186 games. His influence continues to grow by the match and with Messi now reaching the peak of his prime, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes the Brazilian’s team. Getting rid of him now would not only present a gaping hole, but it will undoubtedly increase the attention opposing defences are able to attribute to Messi.

Commercial value and trust in the board – The 25 year-old is one of the most marketable sportsmen on the planet, a hero on the world’s most football-crazed continent and the face of any number of huge brands. His presence alone attracts millions of eyeballs and sells thousands of shirts. Cutting that out of the equation could dry up imperative revenue streams and commercial appeal. For a club engaged in a death sport with Real Madrid and Manchester United for the world’s most popular footballing brand, selling one of your most marketable stars in his prime could certainly be a death blow. Equally as damning, the potential loss of a top 5 player in the world via a release clause would not only be embarrassing, but it would damage the credibility of a board that is already facing the ire in pockets of its supporters.

Neymar to PSG Transfer Isn’t Just a Rumor Anymore, It’s a Concrete Possibility

Remember when I said I wanted more evidence? It’s coming…

Just two days ago, I said I didn’t believe Neymar was leaving FC Barcelona. Here’s the last sentence I wrote: “I’m going to keep assuming there’s nothing there until we see more solid evidence.”

Welp, ask and ye shall receive, I guess.

Not only is Marcelo Bechler, the Brazilian journalist who first reported this, not backing down, he’s getting extra support from the likes of Globo. At first, Brazilian media was the only media reporting this, but soon French journalists joined. And now, RAC1, a Catalan source, is reporting that it’s not just a rumor, but a serious option.

Yikes.

Add in the fact that both Neymar and his father did not address any questions about whether they were leaving…? Sure, they were ambushed by journalists, and they have no obligation to respond. But still… something wasn’t quite right.

That’s enough evidence to convince even the hardest of skeptics that this isn’t just the normal noise we hear every year. This is something else.

What, exactly, that is… is the real question. Is Neymar really on the verge of joining? Is he still deciding whether to go or not? Is this all a smokescreen to get a bigger contract? We don’t know that quite yet.

And like I said before, keep an open mind. Don’t believe everything you read. But know that crazy things do happen. Neymar leaving seemed crazy to me, but it seems much less crazy now.