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From Andy West
Spanish football writer
Transfer deadline day gone Britain might have been, but in most European countries it stays open until Monday plus some enormous deals may be struck.
The majority of the moves are very likely to occur in Spain’s La Liga, where potential swoops from the guns have dominated the headlines for much of the summermonths.
The biggest story, clearly, has become the uncertainty over the future of a certain Brazilian celebrity…
By far the expensive and drawn-out move of the summer are the return of Neymar into Barcelona from Paris St Germain.
On the surface of it, the transfer ought to be easy: Neymar wants to join Barca, he is wanted by PSG out and Barca want him in. However, the bargain is beset by political boardroom machinations deep sufficient to make Brexit seem as a playground squabble over hopscotch, therefore it’s been very difficult to get over the finishing point.
There is A complication that Barca don’t have money, they had to take a bank loan to complete the signing of Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid earlier in the summertime. The Catalan club are trying to conjure up creative alternatives, such as a loan agreement or a player-exchange with a compulsory purchase clause, but none of these have been accepted by PSG.
Earlier this week, the club rejected the latest offer following two weeks of discussions of Barca, also reports on Saturday asserted that Neymar has given up on sealing the move. Given the dishonest and secretive nature of this deal, that may be no more than another outbreak of brain games. Until the bell has sounded, it is probably safest to not think anything.
Thinking about the way of his departure and the sky-high fee from the Camp Nou it’s not surprising that the possible return to this club of Neymar is being met with a reasonable amount of opposition.
Former Barca director Toni Freixa summed the hostility by tweeting:”We’re jeopardising the club’s economic sustainability. I don’t know what interests are at stake, but these of Barcelona certainly are not.”
But president Josep Maria Bartomeu appears to be ready to forgive Neymar and overlook all the fuss so among the most moves in football history may happen in recent days.
Nevertheless, an increasingly popular conspiracy theory – expressed by former France international Frank Leboeuf among other people – claims that Barca have no intention whatsoever of finishing the deal and therefore so are now committing Neymar an elaborate type of punishment because of his earlier treachery, with the extra incentive of stringing along PSG for a few months.
The real secret to completing the Neymar deal could be whether one or more of Barca’s present stars agree to proceed to Paris in yield, and over the duration of summer practically half the Camp Nou team happen to be linked to PSG as part of their trade.
Right-back Nelson Semedo, central guardian Samuel Umtiti and former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho (who ended up linking Bayern Munich on loan) are one of those who have been allegedly provided or asked as pawns without agreement being reached.
The following name is Ivan Rakitic. And distress is triggered by the fact that though the knowledgeable Croatian midfielder has been practically ever-present over the previous couple of years (just Lionel Messi has started more league games because director Ernesto Valverde came in 2017), he was abandoned on the seat for the first 3 games of the new effort.
Along with Rakitic, Barca may be prepared to part with flying French winger Ousmane Dembele, who has been no more than a partial victory because coming as a big-money replacement for Neymar in Borussia Dortmund (where he was handled by present PSG coach Thomas Tuchel).
Dembele has shown flashes of his huge talent throughout his time at the Camp Nou but he has also analyzed Valverde’s patience by regularly suffering injuries involving reports of personal indiscipline – it needs to be said, though, the Dembele has played more games for his team (66) than Neymar (58) at the past two seasons, so the’injury prone’ tag cannot be fairly used as a critical factor contrary to the Frenchman.
Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo – mostly overlooked by Valverde so far this season – and centre Jean Clair Todibo have also been touted as PSG recruits that were potential. There is every chance that the move to Barcelona of Neymar will only happen if at least one player heads in the opposite direction.
Real Madrid have been consistently linked with a swoop to Neymar this summer, together using the president Florentino Perez of the Bernabeu club a admirer of the Brazilian celebrity’s match-winning abilities along with his power off the pitch.
However, the arrival of Eden Hazard along with the failure to dispense Gareth Bale or even James Rodriguez means that Zinedine Zidane’s team is amply stocked with winger/forwards, and speculation regarding Actual snatching Neymar from Barca has died down over the past couple of days.
That doesn’t mean Real have definitely concluded their business for the summer, however, because an addition to the center of midfield is very much on the schedule for Zidane, who quipped on Saturday that his club could burst a”bomb, or two bombs” before the window closes.
Over the last 12 months that the team have let the departures of both Mateo Kovacic (to Chelsea), Dani Ceballos (Arsenal) and Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid) without any major additions at the middle of the pitch, leaving amateur Uruguayan Fede Valverde as the sole alternative to this long-serving trio of Luka Modric (who’ll turn 34 next month), Toni Kroos and Casemiro.
It’s no secret that Paul Pogba has been Zidane’s number one target ever since he returned into the Bernabeu six months ago, and the coach was left frustrated by his team’s failure to make progress.
Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen and Ajax star Donny van de Beek would be the other top choices, and Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon has also been linked, however Pogba stays Zidane’s favoured selection and it would be unwise to fully rule out developments before Monday’s deadline.
Zidane surely will not want to venture at his disposal into the effort with just four midfielders, so it would be surprising if somebody isn’t signed by Actual. The question is whether United could be persuaded to striking a bargain.
La Liga’s ancient pace-setters, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, are looking to improve their departments that are striking before the deadline of Monday.
Atletico have come from Valencia close to registering all-action Spain global Rodrigo Moreno, with a 65 million euros swoop advancing to begin saying his farewells about the sunrise of this new season.
But AC Milan’s bid for Atletico ahead Angel Correa – that would have funded the deal – fell through at the last moment, therefore Rodrigo has stayed in Valencia for now. Milan’s movement for Correa may still be reignited and that might pave the way for Rodrigo to finish his move to the funding.
Subsequently, the income with that transfer may see while the Mestalla club are now also searching for a following a long-term injury to routine starter Cristiano Piccini Valencia finalise a deal with Barcelona for midfielder Rafinha.
In addition to Atletico the only other team in La Liga to acquire their opening two games is Sevilla, where there’s already been a summer of frantic action after the return of iconic director of soccer Monchi resulted in no less than 12 fresh signings – and they are not finished yet.
The Andalusians waved goodbye to three strikers during the off-season, together with Wissam Ben Yedder, Andre Silva and Luis Muriel all departing, along with West Ham striker Javier’Chicharito’ Hernandez was lined up to encourage Dutch target guy Luuk de Jong, a summer arrival from PSV.
Another striker who could be on the move perhaps even to Sevilla when the Chicharito deal falls through – is Real Madrid striker Mariano Diaz, who scored 21 goals for Lyon in the 2017/18 period but is undesirable by Zidane and will probably be available for approximately 20 million euros on deadline day.
These transfers are being left to the shadows cast by the summer’s story : will there be yet another late twist in the Neymar saga?
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