Barcelona Draw Up 3-Man Premier League Shortlist to Replace PSG-Bound Neymar
Barcelona have reportedly drawn up a shortlist of three Premier League players as they look to potentially replace Neymar ahead of his expected move to Paris Saint-Germain.
The latest from RMC in France suggests that Neymar has accepted the contract offer from PSG, with only tax implications left to consider as the six-time French champions actively look to formally trigger a €222m release clause and cut Barcelona out of the negotiations.
The deal, more than double the world transfer record set by Manchester United last summer, will leave Barça with a huge hole in their team, but a vast sum of money with which to fill it.
It had been thought that Liverpool maestro Philippe Coutinho, a player that Neymar actually wanted as a Camp Nou teammate at one stage, was the primary replacement target.
But a report from the Daily Mirror suggests that Coutinho is just one of three player currently plying their trade in England that Barça plan to look at.
It is claimed that the Catalans actually view Coutinho as a potential long-term successor to club captain and Camp Nou legend Andres Iniesta in a deeper role than Neymar has occupied.
Chelsea star Eden Hazard and Tottenham prodigy Dele Alli are the other names supposedly in the frame. Hazard in particular would be more of a like-for-like replacement for Neymar, but losing someone so uniquely talented means a change in shape is almost unavoidable.
Both Hazard and Alli have been linked with Real Madrid in the past. Hazard was thought to be Real's premier target this summer at the Bernabeu until all focus turned to Kylian Mbappe, while Alli has wowed Europe over the last two seasons with 28 Premier League goals to his name.
Any one of the trio would likely cost at least €120m, but with Barça's new Neymar cashpot, it's possible they could even afford two of them if they wanted.