By Barcelona’s usually high standards, £40 million is a relatively small amount to have spent on players half way through the summer.
Nelson Semedo, Gerard Deulofeu and Marlon have all arrived at the Camp Nou thus far, but neither of the three are star signings, so to speak.
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Should Barcelona receive every penny of Neymar’s €222 million release clause, they’re expected to go on a mass spending spree.
Marco Verratti, Kylain Mbappe and Philippe Coutinho are the three players said to be on their radar, having made a £72 million bid for the latter on Thursday.
Liverpool, as you would expect, have swiftly rejected Barca’s bid amidst Jurgen Klopp’s desire to bolster his squad, rather than weaken it.
Signing Verratti sounds more likely as a result, especially so when Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde could try to include the Italian in any deal for Neymar.
However, according to Mundo Deportivo, there has been a surprise twist in their pursuit of Verratti.
The Spanish outlet claim that Barcelona are set to end their interest in the central midfielder and focus instead on Juventus’ Paulo Dybala – a striker by trade.
It’s a strange decision from the Catalonians, with the reasoning somewhat confusing.
Mundo’s front page (see below) explains that Verratti changing agents to Mino Raiola has damaged Barcelona’s “strategy” to sign him somehow.
Quite why that’s the case is unknown, but Raiola’s presence has proved enough to completely alter Barcelona’s transfer plans.
Signing Dybala would make sense, though. Losing Neymar would open up a space on Barcelona’s left wing, which the Juventus striker could easily fill.
And let’s not forget that money talks, so if Barcelona do receive £196 million, they would have the cash to land Coutinho, who is valued at around £76 million by Liverpool.
The new La Liga season kicks off on August 20 and, as we know, a lot can happen in a month. Expect big things from Barcelona should Neymar complete his big-money move to PSG.