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Neymar could return to Barcelona with Philippe Coutinho joining PSG, says Tim Vickery

South American football expert Vickery says Coutinho is "obvious candidate" to trade places with his Brazil team-mate if Barcelona and PSG do player-exchange deal

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South American football expert Tim Vickery provides an update on the futures of Brazilian stars Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Dani Alves

Philippe Coutinho is the "obvious candidate" to be involved in any potential deal which sees Neymar return to Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain, according to South American football expert Tim Vickery.

Neymar, who left Barcelona for PSG in 2017 for a world-record fee of £200m, wants a return to Spain, according to the La Liga club's vice-president Jordi Cardoner.

The Brazil forward has been linked with a return to the Nou Camp, while club and international team-mate Coutinho admitted his future was uncertain after a difficult season at Barcelona.

"If this is going to happen, it is going to take some work there with the financial architecture with players going the other way," Vickery told Sky Sports News.

"The obvious candidate to go the other way would be the former Liverpool man Philippe Coutinho."

Coutinho signed for the La Liga champions from Liverpool for £142m in January 2018, with his deal running until the summer of 2023.

Philippe Coutinho
Image: Coutinho lost to former club Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals last season

He scored five goals and made three assists in 34 league appearances, with 12 of those coming as a substitute, and has been linked with a move to various European clubs including PSG and Chelsea.

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Despite continued discontent at the manner of Neymar's Barcelona exit two years ago from within club members, Vickery believes the 27-year-old would be welcomed back by the leading players in the Catalan club's squad.

His second season at PSG has been disrupted by separate bans for lashing out at a fan after a Coupe de France defeat in April and insulting match officials following the French club's Champions League defeat against Manchester United.

Neymar 'does not have the profile to be the captain' according to boss Thomas Tuchel
Image: Neymar has failed to have the desired impact on the Champions League stage for PSG

"The detail which I think is so interesting here is it is clear that the senior players at Barcelona - [Lionel] Messi, [Luis] Suarez and [Gerard] Pique would be very pleased to have Neymar back," Vickery added.

"On the other hand though, the club members, who vote in the presidential elections, are not quite as keen. They feel betrayed by the way that he left them."

Neymar and Coutinho are both currently on international duty at the Copa America, with Brazil facing Argentina in the semi-finals in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

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South American football expert Tim Vickery explains why Brazil will be happy to face old rivals Argentina in the Copa America semi-finals

Barcelona have sold more than £50m worth of talent in the last week with goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen leaving for Valencia and midfielder Andre Gomes completing a permanent move to Everton.

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