IMAGINE what you would do with nearly half a billion dollars. That is just TOO much money for a soccer player, but after French Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain paid the necessary €222 million ($329mil AUD) fee to release Neymar from his contract with Barcelona that’s exactly what the Brazilian star is worth. £450 million ($739mil AUD) over five years. Now that Barcelona has a boat load of cash and a hole in their starting lineup they will need to go out and get a new star to pair with Messi up front.
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Kylian Mbappé (Monaco, Ligue 1)
ANY move to steal a highly touted youngster away from rivals Real Madrid would be a win for Barcelona. The breakthrough campaign last year from Mbappé has made him one of the highest sought after teenagers on the globe. A season ago he was involved in more goals (23: 15 goals, eight assists) than any other teenager from Europe’s top five leagues. Real Madrid’s bid of £161m ($264mil AUD) could now be blown out of the water by Camp Nou and land them the centrepiece of their attack for the next decade.
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Paulo Dybala (Juventus, Serie A)
ARGENTINA national Paulo Dybala may be drawn to the idea of playing alongside his fellow countryman Leo Messi. One of the young stars of the football community, Barcelona witnessed first hand what the 23-year-old is capable after he scored twice in 22 minutes in a Champions League quarter-final win for Juventus. Signing Dybala may mean that Barcelona has to change their structure, as he prefers to play on the right side that is occupied by Messi. Although, putting plans in place to acquire Messi’s long-term successor isn’t a dumb move by any means.
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool, EPL)
THE name that has been thrown around all transfer season for Barcelona is Liverpool’s, Philippe Coutinho. Barca was already unsuccessful in trying to pry the Brazilian away from Jürgen Klopp’s camp, with the Liverpool manager telling Barcelona to back off. Money talks though and their previous bid of £70m ($115mil AUD) will be blown out of the water now that Barcelona has copious funds. Watch this space.
Ousmane Dembélé (Borussia Dortmund, Bundesliga)
WITH plenty of potential and the flexibility to fill in on the wing left vacant by Neymar on day one, Dembélé seems like the most logical and value for money choice for Barcelona. His debut season in Germany put him on the map as he finished second for assists in the entire league and completed more dribbles than anyone. Borussia Dortmund was able to acquire him reasonably cheap last season and therefore they could turn over quite the profit if they allow him to leave for Spain.
Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid, La Liga)
ALREADY a proven La Liga star, Antoine Griezmann could jump ship and join a current league rival. Griezmann has shown that he can play a variety of attacking roles, but he prefers to be the spearhead of the attack, a role that is currently held by Luis Suárez. It would take a monumental amount of dough for the Frenchman to exit Atlético which makes a move unlikely, but you never know.
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Ángel Di María (Paris Saint-Germain, Ligue 1)
THE arrival of Neymar may leave current PSG striker Ángel Di María without a spot in the lineup. Therefore, what better player to target as a replacement in Barcelona. With the ability to play either wing he would allow the current formation at Camp Nou to remain virtually the same and still give them a capable player on the left or right side. At 29, they may try to target a younger more talented prospect, but he could be swiped for cheap from Paris Saint-Germain.
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