Javier Pastore tipped to make way for Neymar in PSG's starting XI

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As the hysteria mounts ahead of Neymar’s Paris Saint-Germain debut on Sunday focus switched from his record transfer fee to the question of which star would make way for the Brazilian.

Le Parisien daily newspaper suggested it would be Javier Pastore, the silky but fragile Argentine who was the first major signing after PSG were bought by their ambitious Qatari owners, who splashed out a world record 222 million-euro ($261 million) for Neymar.

“After first giving up his No10 shirt, will he (Pastore) now give him (Neymar) his place in the team,” one Le Parisien headline asked of the player who took up the No10 shirt after Zlatan Ibrahimovic left last season, only to hand it to the Brazilian this season.

“Neymar will start on the left at the cost of Pastore,” the article claimed.

“So it’ll be Neymar, (Edinson) Cavani and without doubt (Angel) di Maria in a three pronged attack,” said Le Parisien, which then gave a long list of top signings who will be warming the PSG bench.

Javier Pastore could be the odd man out at PSG after Neymar's arrival.

Javier Pastore could be the odd man out at PSG after Neymar’s arrival.

Alongside Pastore will be the Brazilian Lucas Moura, who is rumoured to be staying as he has been friends with Neymar since the age of nine, and Germany captain at the Confederations Cup Julian Draxler, who arrived just last year in a big money transfer of his own.

Sports daily L’Equipe saw things differently, though.

“Neymar – the football version,” ran their headline in a joke about how the most expensive transfer in football history has dominated news without the 25-year-old forward even kicking a ball yet.

“A trio of Neymar, Pastore and di Maria will support Cavani,” they predicted, but were unsure where the extra man would be cut.

In the tiny Brittany town of Guingamp, with a population of around 7,000, tickets for the match have been changing hands for a king’s ransom as the Stade du Roduourou has a capacity of just over 15,000.

“We could have filled a stadium of 40,000 seats with no problem at all,” Guingamp president Bertrand Desplat told local newspaper Le Telegramme.

“Remember the star of the show is going to be Neymar and for us we want to welcome this very special player and his team in the best conditions possible,” he said.

Journalists however may find themselves a bit squeezed for space as the rustic press tribune allowing for 80 press seats has been extended to a blockbuster 350.

Provided by AFP Sport

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Philippe Coutinho could join these ten brilliant Brazilians to have played for Barcelona

Niall McCague 11/08/2017

Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho submitted a transfer request on Friday amid interest from Barcelona.

The Catalan giants had a bid of around £90million for the Brazil international rejected by the Reds on Wednesday.

It is understood Coutinho has now declared to Liverpool his desire to leave.

Should he sign for Barcelona, he'll join a host of Brazilian legends to have sported the Blaugrana jersey over the years. Here's a look at ten of the best.

RONALDINHO (2003-2008)

Ronaldinho joined Barcelona in 2003 after the club finished sixth in La Liga – and just nine points from the bottom half of the table. But, the Brazilian ace transformed the side with his sparkling skills, guiding Barcelona to two La Liga titles and one Champions League triumph. He was also crowned Ballon d’Or winner in 2005. He moved to Milan in 2008 after scoring 70 games in 145 games for the Catalan giants. Ronaldinho Ronaldinho

RONALDO (1996-1997)

At his peak he was close to unstoppable. The ace marksman moved to Barcelona in 1996 from PSV – for a then world-record transfer fee of £19.5 million. During his sole season in Catalonia, he netted 47 goals in 49 appearances in all competitions to win both the La Liga top scorer and European Golden Shoe awards. At the end of 1996, he became the youngest player to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award. Ronaldo Ronaldo

ROMARIO (1993-1995)

Romario was a mainstay in Johan Cruyff’s ‘Dream Team’, which featured legends such as Pep Guardiola, Michael Laudrup and Ronald Koeman. During their La Liga triumph in 1993-1994, Romario finished as top scorer with 30 goals in 33 games. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1994. Romario Romario

NEYMAR (2013-2017)

Another player that needs no introduction. The Brazilian was a vital cog in the lethal MSN front three alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez as the trio dominated Spanish football. He recently signed a long-term contract at PSG - after the French giants met his mega release clause of €222 million. Neymar Neymar

DANI ALVES (2008-2016)

The full-back was a talismanic presence during his eight seasons at Barcelona, winning six La Liga titles and two Champions League crowns. Such was his dominance as a defender, he was included in the FIFPRO World XI on six occasions. At the time of his departure to PSG, he was second on Barca’s all-time appearance list behind Lionel Messi with 414 outings. Dani Alves Dani Alves

RIVALDO (1997-2002)

Finished his first two seasons at the club as second-highest goal scorer as Barcelona clinched back-to-back La Liga titles. Rivaldo scored a sensational 136 goals in 253 appearances during his five seasons at the Blaugrana. He was rewarded for his clinical finishing with the Ballon d’Or in 1999. Rivaldo Rivaldo

SYLVINHO (2004-2009)

Signed from Celta Vigo in 2004 and went on to win three La Liga titles, as well as two Champions Leagues in 2006 and 2009. He played the full match in Barcelona’s 2-0 win over Manchester United in the 2009 Champions League final, ahead of the suspended Eric Abidal. Sylvinho Sylvinho

EDMILSON (2004-2008)

Played a key role during the 2005-2006 season under Frank Rijkaard, winning La Liga and Champions League trophies. After a poor final season at the club, Edmilson’s contract was not renewed and he signed for Villarreal. Edmilson Edmilson

MAXWELL (2009-2012)

The Brazilian moved from Inter on a five-year deal in 2009 – and played an integral role in the club’s league triumph when Abidal was injured. He struggled to establish himself as a first-team player and left for PSG after three seasons, winning nine pieces of silverware. Maxwell Maxwell

THIAGO MOTTA (2001-2007)

Signed for Barcelona as a 17-year-old and played six seasons at the club. Despite winning two La Liga titles and a Champions League, Motta was curtailed by injuries during a large part of his time at the club. He left for PSG in 2007  - where he continues to line out as a solid midfielder - at the tender age of 34. Thiago Motta Thiago Motta

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Neymar in line for PSG debut as Barcelona receive transfer fee

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Neymar should be free to make his Paris Saint-Germain debut at Guingamp on Sunday after Barcelona confirmed on Friday the €222 million ($261 million) cheque used to pay his buyout clause had cleared.

“The cheque has cleared and therefore puts in motion the process of the transfer,” said a Barcelona club source.

Barcelona must now deliver his transfer certificate to the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) who will then pass it to the French Football Federation (FFF) for the Brazilian to be registered.

The certificate has to arrive with the FFF before Sunday if Neymar is to take to the pitch at the Stade du Roudourou this weekend.

“Once we receive confirmation from Barcelona, the transfer (certificate) will be (sent) immediately,” a spokesperson for the RFEF told AFP.

Neymar’s move to the French giants that smashed the world record transfer fee was announced on August 3.

However, he had to watch last weekend’s 2-0 win over Amiens from the stands as the administrative formalities of the deal were not completed in time.

Despite the delay in registering one of the world’s best players, FFF president Noel Le Graet remained confident Neymar would be able to make his bow at the Stade du Roudourou.

“There is no reason for this hold-up to continue,” he told French sports daily L’Equipe.

“I do not doubt that this will be quickly solved.”

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