Barcelona hope to strike a part-exchange deal for Neymar that would see Antoine Griezmann join Paris Saint-Germain this summer. The Catalan club are prepared to let Griezmann go after just one season to help fund the priority signings of Neymar and Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez, as the financial crisis brought on by coronavirus bites at the Nou Camp. They are said to value the France star at €100m and will look to sell him elsewhere if neither the player nor PSG, who reportedly value Neymar at €150m, have any interest in such a deal.
But transfers as expensive as these look increasingly unlikely, as even the richest clubs in Europe count the cost of their operations being postponed amid the pandemic. Barca captain Lionel Messi announced last week that he and his team-mates had agreed to take a 70 per cent pay cut to help secure the club’s financial stability through the pandemic, while taking another dig at directors for suggesting the squad had been reluctant to do so. Messi has appeared to clash with the Barca board numerous times over the past few months and was one of several key players disappointed not to see the return of Neymar last summer, as Barca’s considerable efforts to re-sign him proved unsuccessful and only Griezmann was added to the forward line in a €120m move from Atletico Madrid. Griezmann believes he still has a future at the club, and is said to be taking part in promoting the new Barcelona kit for next season in the near future, but he could fall to fourth or fifth-choice forward should Barca somehow manage to land Neymar and Lautaro without his sale, behind Messi and Luis Suarez. The 29-year-old Griezmann has scored only eight goals in 26 La Liga appearances this season, plus two more in the Champions League and a further four in other cup competitions. Re-signing Messi to a new contract also remains a priority for Barcelona this summer but the Argentina star is in no rush, with more than a year remaining on his current deal.