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Europe: Has Barca Given Up on Neymar in 2019?

With each passing day the chances of a deal being hatched look less likely ...

Red Star Belgrade v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Group C
Neymar in action for PSG against Red Star Belgrade last season. Has Barcelona given up for now?
Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

And so it goes on ....

Or does it? Have we possibly seen the end of the Neymar saga for the time-being?

Last week’s loan-move taking Philippe Coutinho from Barca to Bayern, could be construed as a sign the Catalan giants no longer believe a deal is really possible to bring Neymar back, at least in this current transfer window.

Coutinho was one player they offered who was very interesting to the Parisiens, so having let the former Liverpool man go off on loan, does it also signal Barca expect to go Neymar-less, at least until the end of the calendar year?

They still have fans to impress, or appease however, so negotiations between now and transfer-deadline day may be nothing more than an exercise to fuel public perception that ‘we’re not giving up!’

The latest Barcelona offer of a loan deal with the obligation to eventually pay 160m Euros, has been rejected by PSG. Again players have been suggested as further makeweights to the deal, but neither Dembele nor Rakitic wants to move. Frankly Barca is running out of players to offer and they do not have enough money to prize Neymar away. For now.

Juventus, not previously mentioned here, are probably out of the race. They formally offered 100m Euros, but this was sniggered out-of-court by PSG. It’s understood Juve have not followed up.

Which leaves Real Madrid, and Zidane, who seems desperate to get someone in having seemingly lost out on Paul Pogba from Manchester United.

According to BBC Sport’s Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, Los Merengues are still prepared to offer players plus cash. And interestingly, perhaps astonishingly, a new name has emerged as a bargaining chip. That of Luka Jovic, along with Keylor Navas and James Rodriguez. Jovic has barely spent time in his new Madrid apartment having just arrived from Eintracht Frankfurt for 60m Euros.

AS Roma v Real Madrid Friendly Match
Luka Jovic - is Real’s new signing about to be packed off to Paris already?
Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

That bid has not yet formally been placed in front of PSG, but it will be, claims Balague, who also expects PSG to resist, and restate their original valuation, which remains greater than the bid being prepared by Real.

So, unless Real up the cash, it looks like Neymar will remain in Paris in 2019..