No deal yet for Neymar’s return to Barcelona

Barcelona has denied a deal to seal Neymar’s return to the Nou Camp has been completed.   

Sky Italia reported earlier in the day that the big-money move was close to being finalised – however the Spanish champions have insisted a deal is not yet done.

According to Mundo Deportivo, the Catalan giants said the reports were ‘false’ as Barcelona cannot agree to include Ousmane Dembele as part of the deal.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his PSG counterpart Nasser Al-Khelaifi were in Monaco yesterday for the Champions League group stage draw. 

The two clubs had been in long-running talks over the 27-year-old Brazilian, who left Barcelona for Paris in a world-record £200million deal in 2017. 

The Brazil international completed training with his team-mates in Paris on Friday.

Neymar looked in good spirits as he ran through a series of drills with compatriot and team-mate Thiago Silva. 

With the European transfer window set to close on Monday, PSG had reportedly rejected an offer of £118m, plus Ivan Rakitic, Jean-Clair Todibo and a season-long loan for Dembele. 

PSG was holding out for a fee much closer to the £200m they paid, while Barcelona’s rivals Real Madrid were said to be preparing their own big-money offer.

The initial reports suggested, however, believed that the above players – excluding Dembele – formed part of an agreement reached.

Neymar spent four seasons in Spain, scoring 101 goals in 185 games, before leaving for the Ligue 1 champions.

Despite winning four major titles across two seasons in France, Neymar has reportedly been keen on a departure.

If the deal does go through he will also team up with fellow new-boy Antoine Griezmann who completed a £108million move from Atletico Madrid during the summer.

He will also reunite with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, the three have formed a lethal combination together.
Played together upfront, they won two La Liga titles, in 2014 and 2015, as well as the 2015 Champions League. 

Messi injured ahead of La liga

Messi injured, doubtful for start of La Liga

Barcelona talisman Leo Messi is out of action less than two weeks ahead of the opening of La Liga season after injuring his right calf in training on Monday.

“I wanted to start and unfortunately I had a mishap in the first training that will leave me out for a while. I thank all your messages and samples of love, I wanted to be with the team and with the people who follow us in the USA. This time it may not be, but we will see each other again soon. A hug to all.,” the five-time Ballon d’Or winner posted on Instagram.

The Argentina star has already been ruled out of the team’s trip to Florida for a one-off friendly against Napoli in Miami on Wednesday.

“Tests carried out have diagnosed a grade 1 calf strain,” the Spanish champions said in a statement, an injury that can require around two weeks of recuperation.

“Messi will remain in Barcelona and will now not travel to the USA for the club’s tour. His availability to come back to action will be dictated by his recovery from the injury.”

Messi, who was at the Camp Nou on Sunday for the squad presentation ahead of the match against Arsenal, said he was sorry to be missing the Florida trip.

“I wanted to be with the team and with the people who follow us in the US,” said Messi.

“This time it will not be possible but we will meet again soon. I kiss you all.”

The club open the new La Liga campaign at Athletic Bilbao on August 16.

Borussia Dortmund have signed striker Paco Alcacer in a £22.7m deal from Barcelona after activating an option in his loan deal following his prolific start to the season.

The Bundesliga leaders signed the Spain international, 25, on a season-long loan in August, with a purchase option.

The ex-Valencia player has scored nine goals in eight games – but only four starts because of injury problems – at an average of a goal every 44 minutes.

Alcacer’s deal runs until 30 June 2023.

His form earned him a recall to the Spain squad after two and a half years away, and he has scored three goals in two games – against Wales and England – since his La Roja return.