Barcelona have been "looking closely" at Everton star John Stones this season, and sporting director Robert Fernandez has heard only good things from his scouts ahead of a summer bid. Plus, it's been revealed Paris Saint-Germain would "have to pay €400 million (£306.2 million)" to sign Blaugrana star Neymar.
Toffees defender Stones is understood to be one of several centre-backs Luis Enrique has on his radar, and Moises Llorens of Spanish daily AS reported Valencia's World Cup winner Shkodran Mustafi is also a target. An extract read:
Barca have been looking at Stones closely since the start of the season and, with increasingly glowing reports being sent back to the Camp Nou, the club are exploring their options for negotiating a deal with Everton, a side they have enjoyed good relations with since doing business over academy graduate Gerard Deulofeu.
Deulofeu has become something of a fan favourite since joining the Merseysiders, but the role his transfer comes to play in a Stones sale could be tremendous.
Barca aren't the first club to come knocking for Stones, however, and Everton boss Roberto Martinez said his central defender is a better player following last summer's saga tying him with a move to Chelsea, per Goal:
One hundred per cent, everything that went on in the summer helped John grow as a person and a player. You need to understand the human side of a footballer gets heavily tested in a period like that. You get a lot of influences and some influences were wrong from the outside and they affect you.
It has been a very important period for his development. Psychologically he has become a man in a very short period of time and a footballer who knows how to cope with high-pressure situations and be able to perform on the pitch.
Martinez also hailed Stones, 21, as a supreme leader in the Everton dressing room despite his young years, a trait that Enrique will undoubtedly look upon as a good attribute.
According to Metro's Chris Winterburn, outbound Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, tipped to become Manchester City boss this summer, could request a big-money deal to keep Stones in the Premier League:
Chris Winterburn @Chriswin4
Interestingly Guardiola asked for Gerard Piqué when he took job at Barca,very much suspect as .@Matt_Law_DT says he could do same for Stones1/14/2016, 10:42:44 PM
It's uncommon for high-profile English players to move abroad in the modern age, but Stones could break the mould if he were to join reigning European champions Barcelona and move to La Liga.
The same could be said of PSG's interest in Neymar, and Catalan newspaper Sport has calculated how much it would cost the Ligue 1 champions to prise the Brazil superstar away from the Camp Nou.
Taking into account the €40 million gross annual wages he'd be expected to command in Paris—multiplied in accordance with a five-year contract—as well as his €190 million (£145.4 million) release clause, the deal could well top €400 million.
As Squawka Dave recently highlighted, PSG boss Laurent Blanc would be getting his hands on one of Europe's in-form players were his club to somehow sanction a deal for Barca's marvel:
Statman Dave @StatmanDave
Only Neymar has completed more take-ons (76) than Riyad Mahrez (68) in Europe's top 5 leagues this season. #LCFC https://t.co/bD6DPw0AdF1/14/2016, 12:28:11 PM
Sport suggested Barca are currently attempting to agree a three-year contract extension with their forward, with his current deal poised to expire in the summer of 2018.
According to Transfermarkt, the 23-year-old has scored 72 goals and made 41 assists in 115 appearances for the Catalan giants, averaging just under a direct hand in one goal per game since arriving in 2013.
Neymar finished third behind team-mate Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2015 Ballon d'Or voting.
PSG are one of the few clubs in the world who may have the means to finance such a move, but the other major question is why treble-winner Neymar would want an exit when everything is going in his favour at Barca.
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