Barcelona Transfer News: Neymar, PSG Talks Reported Amid Contract Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2016

FC Barcelona's Neymar, left, duels for the ball gainst Athletic Bilbao's goalkeeper Iago Herrerin during a quarterfinal, second leg, Copa del Rey soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

The representatives of Barcelona star Neymar have reportedly held talks with Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, despite recent reports the Brazilian ace had signed a new deal to stay at the Camp Nou.  

Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda revealed those talks while speaking on Spanish TV show El Chiringuito de Jugones (h/t Matt Heath-Smith of the Sun):

Neymar’s father has been speaking with PSG, even on the same day that it was claimed he had signed an extension with Barcelona.

I do not know if he is negotiating or not — but he has been talking to a person very close to [PSG owner] Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

He has asked him for a number very close to what Messi earns.

These claims go against recent reports from ESPN Brasil (h/t ESPN FC) that Neymar had in fact signed a new five-year deal to stay in Spain. That news seemed set to end interest from Premier League side Manchester United, who had been linked with the South American striker by Adrian Durham of the MailOnline.

Neymar is a key member of a forward line that continues to fire Barca to major glory.
Neymar is a key member of a forward line that continues to fire Barca to major glory.Matt Dunham/Associated Press

But it seems interest from the French capital hasn't waned. It's interest likely sparked by Neymar's agent, his father, recently claiming "there is no reason" for his son to sign fresh terms with Barca, per the Sun (h/t Luke Gardener of the Daily Star).

Losing Neymar would obviously be a blow for Barcelona, despite the presence of fellow star forwards Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. That duo is the key to the club's current dominance of European football. But Neymar represents future prosperity.

Still just 24, the Brazilian is not yet the finished article. That's a scary thought considering how prolific he is now. His 20 goals and 13 assists in La Liga and UEFA Champions League action this season, per, are ample proof of that.

While he isn't finding the net as often as Suarez and Messi, Neymar is developing a niche as a flair player who wows the crowds and makes those around him better.

But while he appears destined to reach Messi's status soon, the question remains whether Neymar will want to go on sharing the limelight with Barca's iconic No. 10. The answer surely contains the key to his Barcelona future.

By contrast, PSG could offer Neymar a stage all of his own. Current talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic is 34 and has hinted at a Premier League move, according to Sky Sports' Stephen Turner. Meanwhile, Chelsea and Manchester City want Edinson Cavani, per the Sun's Mike McGrath.

PSG have the fiscal muscle to put together the kind of deal it will take to sign Neymar. But the player may deem the more immediate success on offer at Barca as a greater career incentive.