Barcelona concede defeat in Neymar transfer saga as Brazilian agrees to stay at PSG



Posted Sunday, September 01, 2019 by Express.co.uk

Barcelona concede defeat in Neymar transfer saga as Brazilian agrees to stay at PSG
Barcelona finally give up on Neymar transfer as Brazilian agrees to PSG stay (Image: GETTY)

Neymar will remain at Paris Saint-Germain after a summer-long transfer saga linking him to Barcelona, according to new reports.

Neymar has agreed to stay at Paris Saint-Germain with Barcelona unable to negotiate a transfer agreement to sign the Brazilian, according to Sky Sports News.

The 27-year-old has been linked with a return to the Nou Camp throughout the summer, just two years after leaving Catalonia for the Ligue 1 club.

But after a protracted saga, Sky Sports News say that Neymar has now accepted that he will remain at PSG with Barca's hopes of signing him over.

The forward was also linked with Real Madrid in recent weeks, with Barca's Clasico rivals having long had interest in the player.

Sky Sports claim that Neymar intends to honour the remainder of his PSG contract, which expires in the summer of 2022, and fulfil his commitments when he returns from the international break.

He will fly out to Miami to join the Brazil squad on Sunday.

Barcelona had been looking to put together a cash-plus-players package but failed on repeated occasions, the most recent of which is thought to have been due to Ousmane Dembele's reluctance to swap Spain for his homeland.

Neymar was even willing to put £17.7million (€20m) of his own money towards a fee, but PSG refused to lower their valuation of the South American, which Barca were unable to match.

Barca had been hoping to combine Neymar with fellow summer signing Antoine Griezmann, who joined from Atletico Madrid for £107m, as well as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

He made up a scintillating attacking triumvirate with the latter duo during his previous spell at Barca, when he spent four years before a world-record £198m switch to PSG in the summer of 2017.

It was far from a secret that Neymar had been eager to leave the Parc des Princes despite just two seasons in the French capital.

The former Barcelona star has struggled with injuries in Paris, having made just 58 appearances across two campaigns.

But he has also failed to satisfy his chief ambition behind the move, leading PSG to a maiden Champions League triumph.

The Ligue 1 champions have dominated domestically but have failed to translate that success into European competition, never progressing past the quarter-final stage, and it had been hoped Neymar could help change that.

That has not been the case thus far though with the Brazil international now staying put, and PSG will hope third time is the charm having been paired with Real Madrid in the group stages as well as Galatasaray and Club Brugge.

But Neymar had been keen to return to Barca, with Pique exclusively telling Express Sport that he had conversations with his former team-mate.

He revealed: "We have spoken yeah. But obviously it is a private conversation."

Former Chelsea, Tottenham and Zenit St Petersburg manager Andre Villas-Boas thinks Neymar's reputation has suffered because of his time in Paris.

“He is an important player in the world of football,” said Villas-Boas, per Fox Sports.

“For me, it was the player who could succeed [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi for the Ballon d’Or. But he did not recover all the qualities he had shown in Barcelona.”

Former Chelsea, Tottenham and Zenit St Petersburg manager Andre Villas-Boas thinks Neymar's reputation has suffered because of his time in Paris.

“He is an important player in the world of football,” said Villas-Boas, per Fox Sports.

“For me, it was the player who could succeed [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi for the Ballon d’Or. But he did not recover all the qualities he had shown in Barcelona.”

Neymar could make his first appearance of the season for PSG against Strasbourg on Saturday 14 September (4.30pm).

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