The most expensive player in the world may be going back to his old club…on loan.
According to a report by ESPNFC, Barcelona will make an official approach for Neymar on a loan with an option to buy next summer, similar to the switch Philippe Coutinho made from the Camp Nou to Bayern Munich earlier today. In fact, the report specifically states that Barcelona will look to copy Bayern’s approach of a one-year loan with a fee ($9.4 million for Coutinho’s loan) plus all wages paid, followed by an option to buy ($133 million).
Barcelona prefers this approach as they have already racked up a massive transfer bill this summer, spending over $220 million on the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong, Junior Firpo, and Neto.
While there have been numerous reports of potentially creative offers for Neymar over the past few weeks that mention players included in a swap deal, the ESPNFC report specifically states no players will be included in any current or future deal for Neymar either in the terms of the loan or as part of the option to buy. While Barcelona considered this approach in the past, Paris Saint-Germain was reportedly not interested in any players Barca offered, other than Coutinho. They apparently made an official offer already, ponying up $89 million plus Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic, but that was turned down.
The ESPN report does state that Coutinho’s loan to Bayern is seen by those close to Neymar as “a huge setback” as the Brazilian’s camp saw Coutinho as the key to making the deal happen, given that Barcelona is unwilling to put up a straight cash offer this summer. Unnamed Barcelona officials are also quoted in the report as stating that a for a potential Neymar deal, “it will be complicated,” but they are hopeful of progress.
The option to buy in Barcelona’s offer has reportedly not been decided upon as of yet, although previous reports have stated that PSG is unlikely to consider an offer that does not net them back what they paid for Neymar two years ago, to the tune of $245 million.
Bayern Munich has completed the signing of Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho on a season-long loan with an option to buy at the end of the season.
Both parties confirmed the signing on Monday morning, and while the German club stated that “all parties have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the agreement,” Barcelona went to great lengths to contradict that, detailing that Bayern is paying a $9.3 million loan fee and has a fixed $133 million option to buy at the end of the season.
“For me, this change represents a new challenge in a new country at one of the best clubs in Europe,” Coutinho said in the official Bayern release announcing the transfer. “I am really looking forward to this. I have big goals, like Bayern, and I’m sure I can do it with my new team-mates.”
The confirmed financials mean that Barcelona will suffer a huge loss on the Coutinho deal should Bayern activate the option to buy at the end of the season. The Brazilian struggled mightily at Barcelona, failing to find consistent form after moving from Liverpool for a sensational $160 million fee two summers ago. He made 76 appearances for the Catalan club, scoring 21 goals and assisting 11, but his final seven months of La Liga play last season saw him rack up just two goals and one assist in 23 appearances, losing his consistent place in the starting lineup and finding the ire of Barcelona fans.
However, Coutinho was one of the best players at this summer’s Copa America as Brazil won the tournament, leading to hope that he can rediscover his club form. At Bayern, Coutinho has a big opportunity to secure a place in the starting lineup given Thomas Muller’s gradual decline the last two seasons.
“We have been working with Philippe Coutinho for some time and are very happy that we were able to realize this transfer now,” said Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “Our thanks to FC Barcelona for agreeing to this transfer. In Philippe, a player comes to FC Bayern who will strengthen our offensive with his creativity and excellent technique.”
Bayern drew 2-2 with Hertha Berlin in their season opener, a disappointing result that saw Bayern down 2-1 at halftime and unable to find anything more than a 60th minute Robert Lewandowski equalizer from the penalty spot.
Mexico’s most expensive player ever will soon be Hirving “Chucky” Lozano.
According to multiple reports, PSV Eindhoven and Napoli have agreed to a $46 million transfer fee for the Mexican international. According to Sky Sport 24‘s Francesco Modugno, the 24-year-old will travel to Rome on Tuesday and complete his medical on Wednesday morning, ending the Serie A club’s summer-long pursuit.
Lozano will reportedly sign a five-year deal with Gli Azzurri worth $4 million per year plus bonuses.
Over the course of the past few months, Napoli were also linked with Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe and Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez. In the end, Carlo Ancelotti, who is planning to give Juventus a run for their money this season, is adding the speedy winger to his attacking corps that features the likes of Lorenzo Insigne and Arkadiusz Milik.
Despite coming off injured in the 50th minute against ADO Den Haagg in his last PSV appearance, it is believed it won’t influence Lozano’s medical. He will break the transfer record for a Mexican player set by Raul Jimenez in his summer move to Wolverhampton Wanderers from Benfica worth $43 million.
Having sold Memphis Depay for nearly $39 million in 2015 to Manchester United, Lozano’s departure would set a new record for the Dutch giants as well.
A report from Italy states that Manchester United are in talks with Inter Milan over loaning Alexis Sanchez for the 2019-20 campaign.
Sanchez, 30, has reportedly asked United to send him to Inter for the upcoming season as the Chilean star has failed to settled at Old Trafford over the last 18 months and scored once in 20 Premier League appearances last season.
He has yet to play this season or over the summer after being injured playing for Chile in the Copa America this summer, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been positive about Sanchez whenever he’s spoken about him this summer and said wants to keep him at Man United.
However, per the report from Fabrizio Romano in Italy the former Arsenal star wants to head back to Serie A — where he started his career in Europe with Udinese — and Inter only want to pay $16.6 million to sign him permanently next summer when he will still have two years left on his contract at United.
With the summer transfer window still open in Germany, Spain and Italy until Sept. 2, this move is something to keep an eye on.
This is a big call for United.
Do they really want an unhappy and lackluster Sanchez around, blocking the pathway for the likes of Mason Greenwood to break into the first team?
Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard will provide goals and will be helped out by Juan Mata and Greenwood, but if one of Rashford or Martial gets injured, Solskjaer’s attacking options diminish quite rapidly.
Selling Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan already has them down a senior striker and if they have to subsidize Sanchez’s huge wages just to send him out on loan, is it really worth it?
Barcelona and Bayern Munich are nearing the completion of a loan deal that will see midfielder Philippe Coutinho move from Spain to Germany, according to a Barcelona spokesperson on Friday.
[ MORE: Who are the top contenders in this season’s Champions League? ]
Barcelona spokesperson Guillermo Amor confirmed the progress of negotiations on Friday:
“We can confirm that there is an agreement in principle for the loan of Coutinho to Bayern and we just have to finalize the deal”
According to Mundo Deportivo and Sport, Bayern will pay between $16 million and $22 million for this season’s loan, with an option to make the deal permanent for $133 million. Coutinho was left out of Barcelona’s squad for Friday’s La Liga opener against Athletic Bilbao.
Barcelona have spent the entire summer shopping Coutinho to most of the biggest clubs across Europe, desperate to unburden themselves of the 27-year-old Brazilian’s lucrative contract and recoup a sizable chunk of the (up to) $192 million they paid to acquire him from Liverpool barely 18 months ago. Tottenham Hotspur were briefly linked with Coutinho prior to the English transfer window closing on Aug. 8, but those reports were quickly shot down.