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Report: Griezmann plus cash could finally get Neymar back to Barcelona

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Neymar’s long-rumored return to Barcelona hasn’t quite reached the point of exhaustion, but it’s close.

A new report has said Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain may be coming to terms with what’s been a fairly obvious swap deal for some time.

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According to Sky Sports, PSG would send Neymar to Barcelona in return for French hero Antoine Griezmann and money.

The $167 million price tag attached to Neymar is significantly more than the $110 million on Griezmann, and there’s no doubt the former is more of a gamechanger at this point on their careers.

While Neymar gets both the #whenhealthy and #whenavailable tags to his rep, he’s scored 18 times with 10 assists in 22 matches across all competitions this year.

Before the full phrase ‘Ligue 1’ exits your lips, he’s scored against Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Celtic, Galatasaray, Liverpool, Anderlecht, and Red Star Belgrade in his three seasons with PSG.

Griezmann is a full year older than Neymar and, while one of the world’s elite attackers, he’s a step below the Brazilian’s tier. He’s also said to want to keep finding his way at Barca, with Gerard Pique and others ready to lend support.

PSG players climb stadium to sing with banned fans

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Paris Saint-Germain’s stars made sure their fans knew how they felt about the boisterous support outside the empty Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

PSG beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 to advance to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals with a 3-2 aggregate win.

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The fans brought the atmosphere outside the stadium during and after the match, dodging coronavirus fears and governmental advice.

Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Angel Di Maria and a host of PSG players then climbed atop the stadium to salute the supporters as they partied into the night.

PSG’s players also caught plenty of flak for celebrations in their locker room, as Mbappe and other posted video mocking BVB star Erling Haaland’s yoga goal celebration.

Back to the partying with the fans… the club sure leaned into it on social media. PSG is pulling out all the stops to build momentum in a competition that has not seen them reach a semifinal this century.

Neymar, Di Maria lead PSG past Borussia Dortmund

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Neymar and Juan Bernat scored first-half goals and Paris Saint-Germain limited Borussia Dortmund’s chances in a 2-0 win in front of an empty Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

The Round of 16 second-leg win sealed a 3-2 aggregate result for PSG, giving Thomas Tuchel’s side a place in the Champions League quarterfinals over his former club.

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There was a total of one shot in the first 23 minutes. It belonged to Borussia Dortmund and it was not on target.

That soon changed in favor of PSG, who rifled off three shots. Roman Burki made a save on Edinson Cavani, but he couldn’t deny Neymar’s 28th-minute diving header of an Angel Di Maria corner.

Bernat then flicked a Pablo Sarabia cross past Burki before halftime to give Les Parisiens some comfort. BVB would need to score twice.

Mbappe entered with 27 minutes to play after suffering with the flu earlier in the week.

And BVB opted for an American teen, with Reyna coming on for his second career UCL appearance. His first appearance produced an assist against PSG. This one did not yield a marker, but Reyna impressed again with smart dribbling and fine distribution (92 percent passing, 1/1 dribbles, 2/2 duels, one tackle).

Julian Brandt had a pair of second-half chances to force extra time, but was off with his efforts.

Emre Can was sent off in the 89th minute for BVB.

Ranking the comeback potential of Champions League sides

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Maybe Group H of the UEFA Champions League was very soft.

Chelsea and Valencia are in massive holes after 90 minutes of the Round of 16, and third-place Ajax is a 2-0 hole in its Europa League tie.

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The other six teams’ disadvantages after one leg range from tricky to barely existent.

Let’s rate which teams have the best chances to climb back and earn a spot in the quarterfinals.

8. Chelsea (down 3-0 to Bayern Munich after home leg)

Robert Lewandowski’s injury hurts the Bavarians, but not three goals worth of hurt. And Serge Gnabry has been the one sounding death knells for London clubs.

7. Valencia (down 4-1 to Atalanta after away leg)

The away goal combined with the Serie A side’s relative inexperience in the competition gives Valencia a bit more hope than Chelsea.

6. Napoli (level at 1 with Barcelona after home leg)

On the plus side, Gennaro Gattuso’s men are level. That said, they allowed an away goal to Barca and have to go to the Camp Nou against a side yearning to make better UCL memories.

5. Real Madrid (down 2-1 to Man City after home leg)

Who knows what Pep Guardiola will launch at the Etihad Stadium, but giving him two away goals and a lead opens up his playbook? As for Zinedine Zidane, it was all so one dimensional at the Bernabeu. What’s he have cooking?

4. Tottenham Hotspur (down 1-0 to RB Leipzig after home leg)

Spurs have better UEL experience than their second leg hosts, though the striker problems looms over Jose Mourinho’s plans.

3. Liverpool (down 1-0 to Atletico Madrid after away leg)

It’s easy to imagine the Reds’ rebounding, and even Atleti will doubt its potential to keep Liverpool off the scoreboard at Anfield.

2. Paris Saint-Germain (down 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund after away leg)

Dortmund’s allowed plenty of goals this season, and PSG’s attack is stacked.

1. Juventus (down 1-0 to Lyon after away leg)

It’s difficult to imagine Juve playing as poor as they did Wednesday when they head back to Turin. The Old Lady knew something was wrong in warm-ups. They’ll address it, but can they keep Lyon off the board?

Report: Man City has ‘dossier’ on European rivals’ dealings

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Manchester City is fine with the villain role, and is increasingly defiant in the wake of the club’s two-year UEFA Champions League ban.

City is telling players and their agents that the Champions League ban will be overturned and manager Pep Guardiola has been using the outside schadenfreude as a rallying cry for his players.

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On top of that, City will go on the offensive to ask why anything they did was any different than several big names rivals, including Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, and Bayern Munich.

It’s all a part of a Sunday morning blockbuster report from The Athletic.

A dossier on Europe’s biggest clubs’ financial dealings that City have been collating over more than a year could soon come into play. These are all routine dealings but City will ask why their own sponsorship agreements are any different.

City will want answers about the finances Juventus receive from Fiat, which is owned by the Agnelli family. Andrea Agnelli, the Juventus president, is a member of the UEFA executive committee and is said to have brought PSG’s president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi into the fold.

They’re naming names! If City’s going to go down, it’s taking the whole scene with it.

City is said to have “meticulous records” on how UEFA treated PSG in its investigation of the signings of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

The Premier League outfit is said to be skeptical of how PSG and Juventus both have similar sponsorship arrangements but have escaped punishment and have their club presidents on UEFA’s executive committee.

It’s sensational stuff, and a must-read from Sam Lee, David Ornstein, and Adam Crafton. Check it out here.