Chief Reporter, Sky Sports News
Neymar: What Philippe Coutinho to Bayern Munich means for PSG forward
Last Updated: 19/08/19 12:03pm
As Philippe Coutinho seals a loan move to Bayern Munich from Barcelona, Sky Sports News' chief reporter Bryan Swanson examines the implications for the world's most expensive player...
Will Neymar still leave Paris-Saint Germain?
He is expected to move on. He hasn't played in Ligue 1 this season and it would be a considerable surprise if he remained at PSG after the transfer window closes in France and Spain on 2 September. He wants to leave and PSG are prepared to sell. As ever, the devil is in the detail. PSG sporting director Leonardo reminded the media that Neymar's contract runs until 2022. It will be a complicated, and expensive, exit package.
Will he need to be replaced?
Yes, according to PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel. He said on Sunday: "He won't leave without recruiting. It's not possible. If we lose Neymar, we can't lose him without recruiting. And if he is there, we'll have a player who can win one-on-ones, which is sometimes needed."
Who's still in talks?
Barcelona and Real Madrid remain the only serious contenders at this stage. Barcelona sent director of football Eric Abidal and board member Javier Bordas for face-to-face talks with PSG last week. But an agreement wasn't reached and Leonardo said: "There is nothing advanced." Real Madrid remain in talks but no suitable offer has yet been made to PSG.
Is Coutinho's move to Bayern significant?
It is understood PSG want money plus players as part of any deal. Barcelona may need a new approach if they want to sign Neymar. Coutinho's departure to Germany closes one avenue but there are alternatives. Could Ousmane Dembele be used in any deal? Does he want to leave the Nou Camp? Nothing yet suggests he does. Could PSG swoop for Juventus star Paulo Dybala and change their 'cash-plus-player' strategy? The final two weeks of the summer window in Europe could yet trigger a 'domino effect' involving some of the game's biggest players.
Is a deal imminent?
No. Tuchel said: "You think this thing will be sorted tomorrow or the following day? I don't think so. Things aren't sorted. For the moment he can't play because he hasn't done all the training sessions like the others. The injury risk is too big. That's the situation, nothing has changed." Neymar's contract is huge and only a handful of clubs in world football can afford him.
Will PSG lower their asking price?
PSG say Neymar can leave "if an offer suits". They spent a world-record £200m+ when they signed him in August 2017. Given inflation for players in the transfer market, it is likely they will want at least that transfer fee back. PSG officials have not indicated a softening of their stance but the stakes are raised as the transfer window nears its closure. Stick or twist? That's what PSG must decide.
How's Neymar feeling?
He remains active on social media this month, posting family photos and promotional videos to his 124 million followers on Instagram. He has yet to talk publicly about a proposed transfer. PSG have tried to convince him to change his mind but, as yet, nothing has changed. The longer this drags on, the more frustrated he is likely to feel. Everybody is working hard to secure an amicable deal for all parties.