Spanish news outlet, Mundo Deportivo claims that Paris Saint-Germain are ready to offer Barcelona €270m (£239m) for the services of Brazilian star, Philippe Coutinho. Other than acquiring Neymar on a world record transfer last summer, the French giants are seemingly prepared to bring the 26-year-old’s close friend and international teammate to convince him to stay long-term.
Neymar has continuously been linked with a move away to Real Madrid after spending just one season in the French capital. With PSG failing to make a convincing impression in the UEFA Champions League last term, rumours were flying over the winger’s supposed interest to move back to the La Liga.
Florentino Perez is ready to spark a refurbished challenge and now have even more leverage with Cristiano Ronaldo ready to step off the Bernabeu spotlight. However, the prospects of the European champions could lower if PSG manages to get another influential figure into the club ranks.
Coutinho and Neymar have grown up together and represented Brazil in the same age category in the youth stages. The duo took to the international stage in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and showcased their close connection both on and off the pitch.
Even though Coutinho has been late to arrive into stardom or might not have the same international presence as Neymar, he brings a similar amount of impact for the Brazil national team as his compatriot.
He was a prolific name in the Premier League during his time with Liverpool. The former Inter Milan player was brought over to the Camp Nou to serve as a replacement for Neymar while Ousmane Dembele remained glued to the benches with a hamstring injury.
With Andres Iniesta also exiting the Catalan giants, the Blaugrana are expected to rely on Coutinho, even more, to take up a more creative role centrally.
PSG are already in trouble with Financial Fair Play regulations and are finding it hard to sign Kylian Mbappe on a permanent basis from AS Monaco. There certainly isn’t a scenario where the Parisians can sign both the 19-year-old and Philippe Coutinho in the same window and still be allowed to compete in the European top-flight.
With Mbappe rather competing for Neymar’s spotlight at the Parc des Princes, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi might just be willing to forego the 19-year-old’s buy-back clause to please his most expensive acquisition.
This certainly is a head scratcher but more so a question towards the real impact of FFP rules on European powerhouses. There has to be a line where clubs are held accountable in order to maintain the sanity of heads in this beautiful game.
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