5 Neymar Replacements Barcelona Should Target

In a world dominated by ever increasing transfer fees, Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain recently completed a whopping £198m move for Brazilian superstar Neymar from La Liga giants Barcelona, far exceeding the £89m fee Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba from Juventus last summer.

PSG will look to improve on last season in which they were trumped to the title by rivals AS Monaco, and failed once more in Europe’s elite competition the UEFA Champions League.

The signing of the Brazilian is a true statement of their intent, and this without any doubt boost their forward line which already comprises of big names such as Edinson Cavani, who last season bagged brilliant 49 goals across all competitions, significantly improving his goal tally on the previous season in which former striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic stole the limelight before leaving the club on a free transfer to Manchester United.

Given that the deadly trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar is no more, the La Liga giants remain in search of a replacement prior to the commencement of the 2017-18 season.

Here are some of the players that could fill the void:

Philippe Coutinho

Becoming a firm fan favourite since his move from Inter Milan in 2013, Liverpool will not be willing to sell their star player. Barca are said to be highly interested in obtaining his signature and he would undoubtedly slot perfectly into their system.

To sign Coutinho, they would have to cough up the big bucks and submit a significant bid for Liverpool to even consider any approach for the Brazilian.

With his transfer fee reported to be in the region of £100-120m, Barca would have no issue in meeting the demands of the Reds given the fee they recently received for the Brazilian, however it remains to be seen whether the Reds will part with one of their stand out performers in recent seasons.

Ousmane Dembele

After making the move to Borussia Dortmund last summer, the player is seen as one for the future with the potential to become a world class player, and if report according to Sky Sports News is anything to go by, the 20-year-old is reportedly keen on a move to Nou Camp.

Despite this, the Bundesliga giants does not want  to lose their star man despite  gaining a reputation as a selling club in recent years, which has seen them lose several of their best players in the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mats Hummels, Mario Gotze, although the latter made a return to his former club last summer.

The Frenchman was signed from French side Rennes in a £13m last summer, and a series of standout performances have seen Dembele once again linked with several of Europe’s elite clubs, sky-rocketing his transfer valuation.

The Bundesliga giant are reportedly prepared to listen to offers in the region of £90m if they were to consider cashing in on the Frenchman.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The second Borussia Dortmund player to be rumoured as a target for Barcelona, the forward has been linked with a host of clubs this summer, although for now looks likely to continue his stay at the Westfalenstadion with the Bundesliga giants ruling out a sale for their player.

Should the La Liga giants come calling however, will a switch to the Nou Camp be too hard to resist?

The Gabonese forward has proven to a top goalscorer since his move to the Bundesliga side, consistently keeping up with the likes of Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga bagging charts since he joined the club from Saint-Etienne.

He would be a more than capable addition to Barcelona’s striking force and would command a fee in the region of £70m should Dortmund change their minds and choose to cash in on their star striker.

Antoine Griezmann

This would be an unlikely move, given that the French international recently committed to a new deal with Atletico Madrid having been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United for some time.

Atletico have recently become embroiled in a transfer ban until January 2018, and so they would no doubt want to hold on to their star player given that a replacement cannot be signed until at least then.

And particularly they will not want to sell to one of their fiercest rivals so a monumental fee will need to be paid for them to even consider any approach.

Kylian Mbappe

With the 18-year-old wonderkid being touted as the next big thing, the French striker enjoyed a breakthrough season with current club AS Monaco, in which he helped them to storm to their first Ligue 1 title since the 1999-00 season ahead of rivals PSG.

A remarkable fee of £180m has been quoted in order to stave off any interest from Barcelona’s La Liga rivals Real Madrid, who have been widely reported to have been chasing his signature all summer.

Both La Liga giants have the funds available to be able to afford such a colossal fee, although Madrid would perhaps have to sell up to fund a move for Mbappe, with Gareth Bale a reported target for Manchester United.

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Bertrand Francois is the editor of Football Weeks. An experienced online and print journalist, Jamie has worked for IRAIW, Arsenal Presser, Soccerlens and countless other media sources over the years. He is from Republic Du Benin and lives in the busiest town Cotonou. - Facebook and Twitter