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Barca chief: Club closer to PSG on Neymar deal

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Barca chief: Club closer to PSG on Neymar deal
Gab Marcotti says it would take “divine intervention” for PSG to sell Neymar to Barcelona before the transfer window closes.
Barca chief: Club closer to PSG on Neymar deal
ESPN FC’s Gab Marcotti discusses PSG’s current injury situation and how it will effect Neymar’s future with the French club.
Barca chief: Club closer to PSG on Neymar deal
Julien Laurens thinks Neymar’s options have become increasingly minimal and he’ll most likely now remain in Paris.
Barca chief: Club closer to PSG on Neymar deal
ESPN FC’s Ligue 1 correspondent Julien Laurens explains why PSG would prefer a cash deal as opposed to a loan offer from Barcelona for Neymar.

Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain leaders met on Tuesday but did not reach an agreement for Neymar following a third offer from the Catalan club. Barcelona technical secretary Javier Bordas, however, said the club “felt closer to a deal than in days past.” 

Sources told ESPN that Neymar’s desire to return to Barcelona can play an important role in the negotiations and said that the Brazil forward is really involved and has taken the first step to return to the club he left in 2017 after PSG paid his €222 million release clause. The two clubs plan to continue talks and sources at Camp Nou expressed their optimism on Tuesday, saying that “the transfer window is open until Sept. 2.”

According to Le Parisien, Barcelona’s offer on Tuesday was for €170m over two payments. Sources in the Barcelona camp, however, would not confirm that to ESPN FC.

A source close to PSG told ESPN FC that Barcelona are trying to include Ousmane Dembele in the deal.  However, a Barcelona source told ESPN FC that they initially considered the option but ultimately decided against it and are now unlikely to include any players in the deal.

However, the same sources said they felt PSG was more amenable to negotiation than in the past two occasions when the French club categorically rejected previous offers. 

PSG rejected a first offer which included Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic and €80m and then dismissed their first request to take him on loan this season ahead of a permanent move next summer.

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Coutinho, a player who PSG would have been open to receiving in exchange, has since joined Bayern Munich.

The French club are keen for the saga to come to an end as soon as possible, especially with Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani both facing around a month on the sidelines. Sources say they need to know if they will be able to count on Neymar this season — or whether they will have to turn the transfer market to replace him and strengthen their attack.

Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu met with his board on Monday on this new formula, which was presented on Tuesday in Paris by directors Javier Bordas and Andre Cury and Neymar’s friend Alvaro Costa. 

The Spanish champions ideally want to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou on loan with an option to make the move permanent next summer. 

There is also interest in Neymar from Real Madrid and Juventus, although neither club has yet made an official bid. Neymar has told PSG that he wants to leave this summer and the Ligue 1 side want to recoup a majority of the fee they paid two years ago.

Sources have told ESPN FC they believe the French club are in a strong position to negotiate because it was never their intention to sell a player who is under contract until the summer of 2022.

If no satisfactory offer arrives, they will look to reintegrate Neymar into the first team. He has not played since injuring his ankle in Brazil’s Copa America warm up against Qatar at the start of June.

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