Barcelona have reportedly decided to rule out signing Neymar in the summer transfer window and instead turn their attention to signing Lautaro Martinez from Inter and work on offering Lionel Messi a new contract.
Neymar has been linked with a return to the Camp Nou throughout the summer, with the Blaugrana said to be interested in landing the player they sold to Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record £198 million fee two years ago.
But now, according to Catalunya Radio
[Cat Radio磊] | The signing of Neymar has been ruled out by Barça due to the economic consequences of the coronavirus
Signing the Brazilian is now off Barca’s list of priorities, with securing Lautaro Martinez and renewing Messi’s contract now heading that list pic.twitter.com/X5083HZ6WJ
— BarçaTimes (@BarcaTimes) April 16, 2020
The LaLiga giants don’t yet know the full scale of the financial hit they will take from the coronavirus pandemic but are aware it will affect their summer transfer plans. Barca’s priorities are bringing in Lautaro as a replacement for Luis Suarez and extending Messi’s contract that currently expires in 2021.
The Spanish champions would also like to renew goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen but have no agreement with the Germany international just yet.
While Chelsea‘s Olivier Giroud and Arsenal‘s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, have been previously linked with the Catalans, and remain available for a possible move this summer, fan-favourite Timo Werner could be the perfect option for Barca.
The 24-year-old RB Leipzig striker is believed to have a release clause of €57 million, an unbelievably affordable amount considering the calibre of the player, while Lautaro Martinez’s release clause is set at €111 million.