Lionel Messi.

Barcelona set to pursue one Neymar replacement on Lionel Messi's request

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With less than three weeks remaining of the summer transfer window, Barcelona are desperately seeking the man who will fill the gap left by Neymar's high-profile departure.

The Brazil international sensationally quit the Catalan giants less than two weeks ago, completing a £198 million transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

Philippe Coutinho appears the most likely replacement, although they saw a £90 million bid rejected on Wednesday while Liverpool released a statement on Friday insisting he will not be sold under any circumstances.


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Meanwhile, Barcelona have also seen a similar bid rejected for highly-rated Borussia Dortmund youngster Ousmane Dembele, who was suspended by his club for missing training last week.

And given Coutinho's official transfer request which was made on Friday, it appears the Spanish giants are turning the heads of two of Europe's hottest properties.

However, reports claim an alternative target to replace Neymar has now appeared having been convinced to act upon their initial interest in one player Lionel Messi would love to work alongside.

Barca considering Messi's favoured arrival

According to Marca, the Blaugrana are now considering a move for Paris Saint-Germain's Angel Di Maria, having watched Neymar recently head in the opposite direction.

Argentina Training Session

Upon the Argentine's sale to Manchester United in 2014, Real Madrid inserted an 'anti-Barcelona' clause in his contract which would have required the Catalans to pay Real a fee for his signature.

However, with the three-year clause having now expired, Barcelona are now free to sign the 29-year-old without a fee - although their strained relationship with PSG could make a deal more difficult.

Situation favours Di Maria exit

Di Maria's reported issues with head coach Unai Emery, on top of PSG's need to sell in order to comply with Financial Fair Play rules, signals a real chance for the former Los Blancos star to move to the Camp Nou.

And the remaining two years on his contract at the Parc des Princes would allow PSG to demand a hefty fee for the Argentina winger.


But while Di Maria may need little convincing to join Barcelona and link up with his international teammate, Messi, the Catalans may favour a younger option in either Coutinho or Dembele.

While it has been PSG who have caused a tremor in the transfer market this summer, it appears there is still time and opportunity for Barcelona to do similarly.

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Jordi Alba
Gerard Pique
La Liga
Andres Iniesta

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