The latest speculation stemming from the French media suggests that Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing an audacious swoop for Liverpool star Sadio Mane, as a potential replacement for Neymar.
Barca’s Neymar chase
Barcelona’s attempts to coax Brazilian attacker Neymar back to the club proved, in terms of longevity and intensity of rumours, the talking point of the summer transfer window.
Two years on from his La Liga departure, Neymar was hotly-tipped to make a return to the Camp Nou.
Despite having already added Antoine Griezmann to their attacking ranks, the Spanish champions had long been said to be eyeing a further splash before the close of the European transfer market.
PSG, however, proved an altogether-tough nut to crack for the Blaugrana hierarchy.
Though reports had been rampant that Neymar himself had his heart set on linking back up with his former club, and PSG having publicly scolded their star man for his behaviour this summer, the capital outfit’s board stood firm in demanding a premium fee for a player whom they splashed out a world-record 222 million Euro on in 2017.
This eventually resulted in widespread confirmation late in August that Barca had come to the decision to call a definitive end to their chase of the Brazilian:
Barça sources have confirmed that they have formally rejected PSG’s last proposal, which consisted of 130 million euros, Dembélé on loan and transfers of Rakitić and Todibo. The operation is practically ruled out. [cat radio]
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) August 30, 2019
— Mundo Deportivo (@mundodeportivo) August 30, 2019
Neymar out/Mane in?
Speculation over the weeks since, though, has seen questions raised regarding whether those in charge at the Camp Nou could yet rekindle their pursuit of Neymar.
This has been followed by reports of late that PSG have opened to the idea of allowing their South American star to move on next summer:
— FOX Sports Asia (@FOXSportsAsia) November 27, 2019
And, as per the latest updates stemming from France over the last 24 hours, if this does prove to be the case, then the hierarchy at the Parc des Princes have already identified their no.1 target to replace Neymar.
The player in question? Liverpool’s Sadio Mane.
Senegalese wide-man Mane has established himself as one of world football’s finest attackers over the last couple of seasons, culminating in a 4th-placed finish in last week’s Ballon d’Or voting.
💫 Super Sadio 💫
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 2, 2019
The superb work-rate and attitude of the former Southampton man, a pair of characteristics often lacking in Neymar’s game, are said to be the main factors behind PSG’s interest in his signature.
As a result, according to France Football (via GFFN), Mane is viewed as the ‘perfect’ replacement for Neymar in Paris.