PSG confident over Neymar as Barca continue Coutinho chase

Paris Saint Germain are confident they can finalise a world record deal for Neymar, and Barcelona are already planning for a replacement in the shape of Philippe Coutinho.

Barca remain hopeful that Neymar will rebuff the overtures from Paris, but their interest in Coutinho will remain.

Barcelona see Coutinho as either an ideal team-mate to keep his friend Neymar happier at the Nou Camp, or the ideal replacement.

Neymar’s representatives have been locked in talks with PSG’s hierarchy about a potential deal and it is thought a five-year deal is close.

PSG ideally do not want to pay the £195million release clause to secure Neymar, and will ask Barca to accept something lower – but the indications from Catalunya are firmly release close or he won’t be moving.

Whilst PSG continue their pursuit of Neymar, Barca continues their chase for Coutinho.

Liverpool have made it clear they do no not want to lose their Brazilian play-maker but it is thought the 25-year-old is open to a move to Barca.

The Reds are also taking a close look at West Ham United’s Manuel Lanzini – who some well placed sources believe could be a direct replacement for Coutinho.

The odds on Neymar and Coutinho are similar. Neymar is 8/11 with PaddyPower to join PSG and 10/11 to stay with Barca. Likewise Coutinho is 4/9 to sign for the Spanish giants, and 6/4 to be at Anfield.

Spokesman Paddy Power said: “We’re now odds-on Neymar moving to PSG this window, having at one point been heavily odds-on, and another been at a long-shot.

“Basically, no one has a clue whether the deal is going to happen – including Neymar.

“Before Liverpool fans can even get carried away with their chances this season, it looks like Barcelona are about to snatch their star man.

“Maybe whisper it around Reds, but we’re now odds-on that Philippe Coutinh-goes.”

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