PSG sporting director discusses Neymar to Barcelona but says club's position is clear

David Cooper 31/08/2019
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Neymar

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo remains hopeful a deal can still be done for Neymar to leave the club before the transfer window closes.

The Brazilian, who is yet to play this season, has been repeatedly linked with a return to Spain with either former club Barcelona or Real Madrid, but his future remains unresolved.

The European window closes on September 2 and any potential deal will need to be agreed by then.

Leonardo told the club’s official website after the 2-0 win over Metz: “Our position on a potential departure of Neymar is clear, everyone knows what we want.

“We got a first written offer on 27 August and we refused it, the conditions didn’t suit us.

“There are three days until the end of the transfer window, and for the moment, there is no agreement. We’re talking a lot, with Neymar in particular.

“He’s an extraordinary player, I didn’t know him personally before I came back to Paris. He has gone through a lot of things, he’s a football star today, I like him a lot, we have a good relationship with him.”

Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola was also left out against Metz and Leonardo confirmed discussions are taking place over his departure.

He added: “Areola is in talks with another club, he didn’t want to play this evening. We respected his decision. We still don’t know if he’ll leave, everything is still possible.”

Angel Di Maria and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored to send PSG to the top of Ligue 1 with the win over Metz and coach Thomas Tuchel was happy with his side’s display despite the speculation around the club’s players.

He told the club’s official website: “We controlled the game, we were serious and attentive. It was necessary to be today after a week in which a lot has happened.

“We stayed focused, the team put in a great performance, we’re happy.

“(Goalkeeper) Marcin Bulka’s debut pleased me a lot, he’s someone who has a lot of confidence in himself, he managed the pressure, and Adil (Aouchiche) also had a good game, it wasn’t easy for him, he’s very young. But I’m very satisfied.”

Most popular

Related Tags

Former Spain and Barcelona coach Luis Enrique announces death of daughter, aged nine

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Former Barcelona and Spain head coach Luis Enrique has announced the death of his nine-year-old daughter.

Enrique stepped down from his role with the national team in June for personal reasons, but also missed the last three matches of his 11-month tenure.

The 49-year-old revealed on Thursday that his daughter had died following a battle with bone cancer.

“Our daughter Xana has passed away this afternoon at the age of nine, after fighting for five intense months against osteosarcoma,” read a statement on Enrique’s Twitter account.

“Thank you for all of the love received during these months and we appreciate the discretion and understanding.

“Thanks also to the staff at the Sant Joan de Deu and Sant Pau hospitals for their dedication and treatment – doctors, nurses and all volunteers. A special mention for the palliative care team at Sant Joan de Deu.

“We will miss you very much but we will remember you every day of our lives with the hope that in the future we will meet again. You will be the star that guides our family.”

Barcelona, who Enrique guided to Champions League glory in 2015, tweeted: “Our condolences and all our sympathy to Luis Enrique and his family at this very difficult time. RIP Xana.”

Real Madrid, where Enrique spent five years as a player, also conveyed their “deepest condolences” in a short message on social media, while the Spanish football Federation said: “The RFEF mourns the sad loss of little Xana.

“We want to show our condolences to the family and friends.”

Another of Enrique’s former clubs, Roma, said they were “heartbroken” at the news, adding that their thoughts were with the family “at this impossibly sad and difficult time”.

Copy provided by Press Association Sport

Most popular

Barcelona youngsters to be handed another audition against Osasuna as injuries persist

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Carles Perez

Barcelona continue their La Liga defence with what should be a comfortable trip to Pamplona on match-day three.

Last weekend’s 5-2 win over Real Betis witnessed one of the most impressive performances from the Catalans without Lionel Messi in the squad.

The Argentine is likely to miss the tie against Osasuna and the onus will yet again fall on superstar addition Antoine Griezmann, who staged a match-winning performance last Sunday.

Will the next challenge prove to be as straightforward as the previous one? We take a look at the talking points.

Best midfield combination?

Frenkie

The transfer of Frenkie de Jong, promotion of Carles Alena and inclusion of Sergi Roberto in midfield has had Ernesto Valverde spoiled for choice.

From what we have seen in the pre-season games and first two La Liga fixtures, Ivan Rakitic has fallen out of favour as a starter and Sergio Busquets’ stance as an untouchable is also growing weaker.

De Jong and Roberto started both games and staged contrasting performances. Against Athletic Bilbao, the Dutchman played in Busquets’ position and impressed, while Roberto staged a flat performance on the left side of midfield.

In Barcelona’s only win, Roberto started on the right side of midfield and De Jong occupied the left with Busquets reclaiming his spot in the centre. The Spaniard was exceptional on the right, but the former Ajax man struggled to get accustomed to his new position.

Arthur and Arturo Vidal – who sat out from the starting line-up because of lack of match-fitness, reporting late from the Copa America – will also compete for the starter’s spot against Osasuna.

Will Valverde go with the same midfield, will he decide against playing Busquets and De Jong together and will Rakitic reclaim his spot in the line-up? It will be interesting to see what the manager has in mind.

Another opportunity for La Masia stars

Ansu Fati

Ansu Fati

La Masia graduates Carles Perez and Ansu Fati were the talks of the town last week after the youngsters impressed against Betis, ensuring the team did not miss injured Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele.

The latter two will sit out for a month, but Messi was tipped to return against Osasuna. However, the recovery has been slower than expected and the Argentine is likely to miss Barcelona’s tie against Osasuna.

Perez and Fati will look to pluck out the positive from this misfortune and enhance their case for regular first-team minutes and possibly a promotion.

The former scored his first goal for Barcelona against Betis and is favourite to grab the third attacker’s spot alongside Griezmann and Rafinha. The lack of options upfront all but promises Fati a few minutes in the second half.

If Messi’s injury helps these youngsters establish themselves and eradicate the reliance on the Argentine, Barcelona can benefit from the scenario.

A tough defence to unlock

The defending champions will take on a newly promoted side that is higher up the table and have not conceded a single goal this season.

Barcelona are still favourites, but Osasuna’s defence standing tall in the two games they have played adds an interesting perspective to the game.

Osasuna defeated Leganes 1-0 before settling for a 0-0 draw against Eibar, who were known for causing trouble against quality sides last season. The defence, led by Aridane Hernandez, could frustrate Barcelona and force the manager to adopt a Plan B if things go south.

Full-backs Nacho Vidal and Pervis Estupinan have been conservative about advancing forward and this could produce very little margin of error for Barcelona to exploit. The visitors will find it hard to get in-between spaces in the final third and face complications in finding the final ball.

Most popular