• PSG are demanding £198m for the forward but Barcelona want to pay a lower fee.
• Neymar is reluctant to do anything that could rule out a move to Real Madrid
Barcelona want Neymar to make a public declaration of his desire to return to the club but so far the Brazilian forward has preferred obscure social media posts that don’t reveal where he wants to end up this summer.
The Catalan club’s very public meeting in Paris this week was designed to set out a message to, among others, the player himself to say: we are trying to sign you.
Barcelona now want Neymar to do likewise.
But on Thursday he posted a short video on social media from inside a car accompanied by the phrase ‘Enche-me deus’, which can be translated as ‘fill me God’.
Barcelona believe if Neymar comes out and declares his allegiance to the club, Paris Saint Germain’s hand will be further forced and they will have to drop their current demands.
Sources close to the saga that began at the end of last season say Neymar is reluctant to do anything to rule out a move to Real Madrid because he feels that if Barcelona cannot agree a deal with PSG, moving to the Spanish capital will be his best way out of Paris.
Barcelona’s meeting with PSG on Tuesday does not appear to have moved Neymar’s move on. Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal, his assistant Javier Bordas and Andre Cury, the club’s Brazil-based director sat down with PSG sporting director Leonardo but none of Barcelona’s proposals met with the French club’s approval.
PSG still rate Neymar at £198m (the price they paid for him in 2017) and if Barcelona cannot pay that sum then they will only entertain a bid if it includes two players and £91.9m.
Barça can neither pay the £91.9m euros, nor countenance the players requested by PSG. The Catalans would accept Philippe Coutinho being part of the deal and have even suggested Ivan Rakitic, despite the Croatian player having no intention of leaving Barcelona.
But PSG, if they must ultimately and reluctantly accept players, have indicated they would prefer Nelson Semedo or Ousmane Dembele as well as Coutinho and £92m.
Real Madrid are observing the stalemate from afar. They can no more afford £203m than Barcelona, but, like the Catalans, they are waiting to see if the player’s price falls as the September 2 deadline approaches and it becomes increasingly difficult for PSG to keep him at the club.