MADRID – Barcelona officials headed to France on Tuesday for talks with Paris Saint-Germain to seal a return to the Spanish club for Brazilian star Neymar, reports said.
The club’s director for football, retired French international Eric Abidal, and two other top club officials few to Paris to meet with their Paris Saint-Germain counterparts, Catalan radio Rac1 and Catalan television TV3 reported.
“The breakthrough is significant as PSG had up until now refused to meet with Barcelona emissaries but it does not mean that the deal is close,” Rac1 wrote on its website.
The deal which the Barcelona officials will propose could include other players such as Philippe Coutinho or Ivan Rakitic, it added.
Paris Saint-Germain revealed on Saturday that Neymar transfer talks are “more advanced than before” after the Brazilian was dropped for the French champion’s opening Ligue 1 match.
Sporting director Leonardo confirmed to reporters that the Brazilian was near the exit door but that PSG was “not yet ready to give their approval” for the transfer.
Real Madrid or a return to Barcelona are the most likely destinations for the world’s most expensive footballer, won two La Liga titles and the 2015 Champions League in four years with the Catalan side.
Sports newspaper AS has reported that Neymar has been offered to Madrid by PSG, which is open to selling if it can either recoup the €222 million ($249 million) it spent on him in 2017 or receive half that amount with players included in the deal.
But Barcelona-based Mundo Deportivo said that he would prefer a move back to Catalonia to play alongside former teammates Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.