PSG will only consider negotiating the sale of Neymar with FC Barcelona if Antoine Griezmann is involved in a part-exchange deal, a report has claimed.
Bought for $129mn from Atletico Madrid last summer, the Frenchman has enjoyed mixed fortunes at the Camp Nou.
First struggling to integrate via his forced left wing spot, he still helpedBarçarise to the top of the La Liga table alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in the ‘MSG’ trident heading into 2020.
But then Suarez picked up a knee knock that ruled him out injured until May, which has, under new coach Quique Setien, seen Griezmann move into a more central role on the front line.
With Ansu Fati to his left and Messi to his right, it is that pair which has struck chemistry while the World Cup winner has been frozen out.
In the meantime, rumors of a return to Catalonia for Neymar have persisted, accompanied by those of Griezmann being made uncomfortable by such a development in the transfer market.
To counter this, though, in early January,Mundo Deportivoran a story claiming that he had given the ‘green light’ to an approach for the 28-year-old.
“Nothing is further from reality,” wrote Fernando Polo, as a response to suggestions that the number 17 would not enjoy the presence of “four heavyweights” inBarça’s locker room.
“On the contrary, Griezmann would not have any problem or put up any obstacles or inconveniences upon the arrival [of the Santos academy product],” it was added.
“He knows he can lose some prominence, but he signed for five seasons and knows that the more quality [there is] in the team, the better,” Polo went on, with his information apparently obtained by sources close to the player.
Now, thanks toESPN’s Julien Laurens, it is known that Neymar is apparently available for a fee of $167mn. Preferring to focus on preventing Kylian Mbappe from leaving, for Barça’s bitter rivals Real Madrid, PSG’s sporting director Leonardo has fallen out with the Santos academy product and will not stand in the way of a desired reunion with his first ever European club.
On Sunday,SPORTran a headline spread detailing howBarçawill put Griezmann on the market after less than a year in Blaugrana colors, in an attempt to raise these funds for Neymar and a further $120mn for Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez.
Barça accepting no less than $110mn, Premier League outfits such as Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal may be alerted, but PSG were also mentioned as a possible suitor.
In this manner, FCB can kill two birds with one stone if a report fromLe10Sportis accurate.
As relayed byMundo Deportivo, the French outlet attests that PSG are not interested in part exchanges involving Neymar-and-cash plus PhilippeCoutinho, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal or Samuel Umtiti.
Instead, they are only willing to negotiate the sale of their 2017 world record purchase if Griezmann can come in the other direction and ply his trade at the Parc des Princes.
Mundo DeportivodefusedSPORT’s piece on Griezmann being put up for sale, and wrote thatBarçasee him as vital to the club in the short term. This has been communicated through actions such as having him promote the first team’s new home shirt, yet financial difficulties may push their hand, however.
Yesterday,ESPN’s Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden revealed that club sources had told them how, due to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on revenues, the Catalans will only be able to afford NeymarorLautaro and not both.
Members of the board split on who to pursue, it is perhaps only through swap deals that parties on each side of the fence can be satisfied.