Barcelona’s opening bid to take Neymar back from Paris Saint Germain has been rejected by the French champions, according to reports.
Neymar is unsettled after two seasons in Paris, and is eager to return to La Liga – with Real Madrid and former club Barcelona set to battle it out for his signature.
According to the Daily Mail, after hearing that Madrid were already speaking with his agent, Barcelona sped up negotiations by tabling their initial offer ahead of schedule today, with club officials Eric Abidal, Javier Bordas and Andre Cury meeting with their PSG counterparts in the French capital on behalf of president Josep Maria Bartomeu – who had been due to meet Nasser Al-Khelaïfi on Thursday.
The bid was worth £74m plus Philippe Coutinho, who has struggled for consistency since joining the Catalan giants and has been heavily linked with a move away.
However, PSG want to recoup their £206m investment in Neymar – who became the most expensive player in football history when he traded Camp Nou for the Parc Des Princes in 2017 – and quickly rejected the offer.
Barcelona had to take out a loan to buy Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid, so the only feasible way for them to acquire the services of Neymar would be to include more players in their offer – with Ivan Rakitic and Nelson Semedo suggested.
However, the Croatian midfielder wants to stay with the club, while they are also hesitant over the idea of letting Semedo go.
Bartomeu does not want to give up hope of signing Neymar though, as he sees him as a player that can help Barca win the Champions League within the next two years.
It is added that Madrid would also find it difficult to complete a deal for the Brazil star, as they would need to sell some players beforehand after a high-spending summer.