Connect in the back of the net

In a world dominated by ever increasing transfer fees, French club Paris Saint-Germain recently completed an eye-watering £198m move for Brazilian superstar Neymar from La Liga giants Barcelona, far surpassing the £89m fee Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba last summer.

The Ligue 1 club 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 Neymar is a true statement of their intent, and this will undoubtedly boost their forward line which already comprises of big names such as Edinson Cavani, who last season scored an incredible 49 goals in 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, Barcelona 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 be reluctant to sell their star player. Barcelona are said to be highly interested in obtaining his signature and he would undoubtedly slot perfectly into their system.

To sign him 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, they would have no issue in meeting the demands of the Reds given the fee they recently received for Neymar, however it remains to be seen whether Liverpool 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 a recent Sky Sports News report is anything to go by, the 20-year-old is reportedly keen on a move to Barcelona.

Despite this, the Bundesliga giants will be reluctant to lose Dembele despite gaining a reputation as a selling club in recent years, which has seen them lose several of their best players including Robert Lewandowski, Mats Hummels, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mario Gotze, although the latter made a return to his former club last summer.

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

Dortmund 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 star forward.

Should the Catalan giants come calling however, will a move to the Nou Camp be too hard to resist?

The Gabon international has proven himself as a top goalscorer since his move to the Bundesliga, consistently keeping up with the likes of Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga scoring charts since joining 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.

 

Written by Cristian Fry

Follow Cristian on Twitter @CristianF99

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