Replacing Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn’t going to be easy for Paris Saint-Germain.
Just how do you replace a player who scored 52 goals this season?
Ibrahimovic’s contract with the French champions expires next month and he is widely expected to resume his career at Manchester United.
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PSG won’t allow one superstar to leave without signing another, though. With ambitions of winning the Champions League, the money-bags will spend big this summer.
And they’ve reportedly placed a bid for one of the biggest superstars in football, even surpassing Ibrahimovic’s status.
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The Sun claim PSG have activated Barcelona winger Neymar’s £153 million release clause.
How’s that for replacing a self-confessed king?
Much has been made of Neymar’s future, with many media outlets using his off-the-pitch troubles as justification that he will seek a move from the Camp Nou.
And then there are claims that Barcelona, who are currently without a sponsor for next season, are strapped for cash.
All of which adds up to the report that Neymar will be sold.
Neymar would be willing to talk
The Brazilian’s measly contract of £77,000-a-week was unveiled by Football Leaks recently and there’s no question that Barcelona will have to re-work that if they are to keep the 24-year-old around.
The Sun’s report adds that Neymar could be enticed to leave Catalonia this summer if PSG “truly are willing to put their money where their mouth is."
And the player’s agent, Wagner Ribeiro, admitted last month that his client would be willing to speak with the Ligue 1 champions.
“If PSG show an interest in Neymar, we can discuss it,” Ribeiro said, per The Sun.
“A contract can also be terminated provided that the release clause is paid. It’s huge. €193m (£153m). But I don’t think that would be an insurmountable problem for them.”
Neymar’s current deal runs until 2018 and there are reports in Spain that Barca are desperate to put him in the same bracket as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, the club’s biggest earners.
But, according to Ribeiro, the allure of the French capital could appeal to the former Santos player.
“He feels good in Barcelona, he’s loved over there, and he’s playing for the best team in the world.
“It’s no small feat to impose yourself at such an enormous club.
“But the prospect of living in a city like Paris and to play for a club like PSG – that’s also a dream for every player.”
The longer Barcelona wait to offer Neymar a new deal, the more PSG, and other interested parties such as Manchester United, will begin to believe they can sign the forward.
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