Coutinho, Mbappe and other players that could replace Neymar at Barcelona
Neymar edged closer to his world record move to Paris Saint German after Barcelona gave him permission to miss training. Though the £198 million move is not complete yet, FC Barcelona seem to have given up on keeping the 25-year old as PSG look set to activate his release clause. Here are five possible replacements of the Brazilian superstar for Barcelona.
Even before the reports of Neymar’s move to PSG surfaced, Phillipe Coutinho had been linked to the Spanish side. Liverpool turned down a £72 million bid from Barcelona with Coach Jurgen Klopp advising the La liga club to “save their energy” instead of continuing their pursuit of the Brazilian. Coutinho has the ability to fill in Neymar’s role. He currently might not post Neymar’s figures as regards goal contribution, but with a lift in quality around him Coutinho should rival those figures.
The 18-year old is the rave of the moment with many clubs jostling for his signature. While Barcelona might have lost Neymar to PSG, they could go for the next big thing on the market. Real Madrid seem to be in pole position to get the French forward but the Catalan side could steal ahead with their new found cash. Asides getting a quality player with blinding potential, they’d certainly enjoy beating a rival to his signature.
Manchester United came knocking earlier in the summer but Antoine Griezmann opted to stay loyal to the Atletico Madrid because the Rojiblancos had been hit with a transfer ban. Could the allure of being part of a world class attacking trident change his mind? His 16 goals and eight assists in the La Liga last season means Barcelona are getting a proven goal getter who would need no time to bed in.
Just like the man he is to replace, Dembele was involved in a training ground bust up with his teammates, perhaps indicating he wants to leave Borussia Dortmund. The young fleet-footed winger with huge potential took the Bundesliga by storm with a goal contribution every 113 minutes. The Frenchman is the cheapest.
Dani Alves’ claim that Paulo Dybala has to leave Juventus in order to reach his full potential might have some element of truth. Filling Neymar’s shoes and joining Lionel Messi would set him on the way. The forward who dazzled for UEFA Champions League runners-up last season will be in good company if he joins the Blaugrana but he will not come cheap.