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PSG preparing Coutinho swoop to keep Neymar at bay

Philippe Coutinho.

Kolkata, July 11: While Cristiano Ronaldo has confirmed his move to Juventus now, there is another club who should worry about a player departure other than Real Madrid.

Paris-Saint Germain are reportedly on a high alert, especially since Real Madrid have both the power and resources to capture Neymar from the French capital. And their last resort to save him is to ready a mega deal for Barcelona star – Philippe Coutinho.

After already spending a club-record fee to rope in Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona set another club-record by signing Coutinho from Liverpool in the January transfer window. But just six months later, PSG have rocked the La Liga champions by tabling a world-record £239m bid for the star.

PSG's wealthy Qatari owner Nasser Al Khelaifi swooped Neymar with a world record bid and are reportedly ready to better it even more to get Coutinho. The club has not reached out to the management of Barcelona with the offer, but have directly contacted Coutinho’s agent.

But Barcelona are not interested, even though the offer would represent a profit of close to £100m in just six months. They will reportedly not accept anything less than Coutinho’s £352m release clause, despite the huge potential revenue boost. However, considering PSG's Financial Fair Play struggles in recent times, it seems highly unlikely that a deal could be struck.

Coutinho scored 10 goals and made six assists in 22 appearances across all competitions in the second half of the season. Both Neymar and Coutinho bowed out from the World Cup as Brazil went down 1-2 to Belgium in the quarterfinals.

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    Story first published: Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 10:57 [IST]
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