Amid speculation of a possible transfer to Real Madrid for star striker Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain look all set to smash the record transfer fee for a player by bidding £239m for Barcelona winger Philippe Coutinho.
Reports from Mundo Deportivo suggest that PSG have made the bid to Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian, and they hope that by landing the Brazilian, they can convince his compatriot Neymar to stay put.
Speculation has been rife over Neymar’s future just one season after his sensational transfer from Barcelona to PSG.
PSG will find it difficult to get their man, however, since along with Coutinho comes a £354m release clause, which the Spanish giants will surely trigger if any substantial interest is shown in the 26-year-old.
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Neymar and Coutinho developed a strong bond while together on national duty, and some of that camaraderie was on display during the World Cup, where Brazil lost in the quarter-finals to Belgium. Neymar himself scored two goals in the tournament, with Coutinho also finding the net and providing assists for his teammates.
Since signing for the Catalan giants, Coutinho has been especially impressive, and he took that form through to the World Cup, where he performed admirably.
Neymar, in the meantime, continues to be linked with a move to Real, a deal which is still being worked on, but could become a reality if Madrid hitman Cristiano Ronaldo decides to move on in pursuit of greener pastures.
Neymar may have found the net twice for Brazil at the World Cup, but he has been heavily criticised by many for his theatrical antics during the tournament in order to win free-kicks from opposition challenges.