Rumour Has It: Man City declined PSG's Neymar swap deal for Bernardo Silva

By Sports Desk July 20, 2022

Amid growing speculation in recent months, Christophe Galtier and Luis Campos' arrivals at Paris Saint-Germain this off-season could mean Neymar's departure.

The Brazilian joined PSG in 2017 for what remains a world-record €222 million fee from Barcelona, but there has been no European silverware to complement nine Ligue 1 titles over the past decade.

Lionel Messi linked up alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe last term but the team's compatibility came under examination in their dramatic Champions League exit, despite winning Ligue 1 comfortably.

TOP STORY – PSG PROPOSED NEYMAR SWAP WITH MAN CITY

PSG proposed an exchange with Manchester City which would have seen Neymar and Bernardo Silva swap clubs earlier this off-season, Le Parisien claims.

The report alleges that the English champions declined the deal, as they are unwilling to let the Portuguese midfielder go.

Relations between Neymar, who is contracted until 2017, and PSG have been slightly testy recently.

Bernardo was linked with a switch to Barcelona earlier in the off-season, having reportedly been eager to leave the club last year.

 

ROUND-UP

– Chelsea are concerned that target Presnel Kimpembe will decline their approach, the Standard claims. The Blues are in talks with PSG over a £50m deal for Kimpembe.

– The Sun reports that Chelsea have also entered the race to sign Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, amid the latter's talks with Manchester United.

– Calciomercato claims that Tottenham have shown an interest in Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo although they will need to offload players to afford him.

– Spurs are not interested in signing Jesse Lingard according to Fabrizio Romano, meanwhile. Lingard, who left Manchester United recently at the conclusion of his contract, is hoping to decide on his future this week, with West Ham United believed to be his likely destination, while Nottingham Forest are also interested.

– Fabrizio Romano also claims that there is still no agreement between PSG and Inter on a deal for Martin Skriniar. Inter are not willing to sell the Slovakia international for PSG's last bid of €50m.

– Arsenal and Manchester City have agreed to a £32m deal for Ukraine international Oleksandr Zinchenko, reports Sky Sports.

– Football Insider reports that Liverpool have contacted Ajax about signing their Brazil international winger Antony.

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  • Galtier 'not surprised' by Fournier's comments Galtier 'not surprised' by Fournier's comments

    Paris Saint-Germain head coach Christophe Galtier is "not surprised" by some strong comments made by former colleague Julien Fournier regarding their time together at Nice.

    Galtier joined Nice ahead of the 2021-22 campaign after winning the Ligue 1 title with Lille, but he stayed at the Allianz Riviera for just one year before making the move to PSG.

    Speaking on RMC show 'After Foot' on Wednesday, ex-Nice director of football Fournier suggested Galtier's exit came down to more than just football reasons.

    "It's common knowledge that the relationship I had with Christophe was quite chaotic from the start of the season," said Fournier, who himself left for Parma in July 

    "Quite honestly, if I explain the real reasons we argued, Christophe would no longer be allowed in a locker room, neither in France nor in Europe.

    "But it was not about football matters. These are much more serious things from my point of view. It was indirectly linked to football. These are things that affect me deeply. 

    "We finished the season and we, him and I, were as professional as possible to limit the negative impact that it could have had on the team. Then there was the separation."

    Galtier was asked about those remarks at a pre-match press conference on Thursday ahead of his first meeting with Nice since joining PSG.

    "He is pretentious," Galtier told reporters. "I am not surprised at the way he expressed himself. I don't want to get tired of debating on everything that was said.

    "If we do that, the way it works means we create one debate after another. I'm not surprised about what I heard knowing the character. That's all I've got to say."

    Galtier won 23 of his 43 matches in charge of Nice last season and guided the club to a fifth-place finish in Ligue 1.

    He departed with the best points-per-game record of any coach in Nice's Ligue 1 history, with his return of 1.76 marginally better than current incumbent Lucien Favre's 1.67.

    Galtier's Nice went unbeaten against PSG last season and were the only side to keep clean sheets in both matches against the Parisians.

    However, PSG welcome the Eagles to Parc des Princes on Saturday having won seven of their opening eight matches, scoring 26 goals and conceding only four in the process.

    Asked if his side are prepared for the challenge on the back of a two-week international break, Galtier said: "We have to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

    "We've worked for the past 10 days with five players. This is the first game in a long series. There are 13 games to go before the World Cup and we are preparing carefully."

  • Pogba intent on emulating Pirlo, Buffon at Juventus Pogba intent on emulating Pirlo, Buffon at Juventus

    Paul Pogba has expressed his desire to emulate Juventus legends upon his return to the club, following a six-year stint with Manchester United.

    The French World Cup winner returned to Turin ahead of the 2022-23 season but is yet to feature in his second spell at the club due to injury.

    Pogba has hopes of becoming a club legend like Andrea Pirlo, Gianluigi Buffon and Georgio Chiellini, who he played with in his previous stint with Juventus.

    He also conceded the final half of his spell with United was not up to scratch and believes the stars aligned to present him and Juve with a fresh challenge together once again.

    "I like to think and say that it is my heart that made the choice. It was also perhaps the right time to come back here. The last three years in Manchester, affected by injuries, did not go as I wanted," he told GQ Italia.

    "Add this to the fact that Juve have come from two years in which they did not win the Scudetto, it was a good challenge for both of us. Maybe it was the right time to meet again, try to take back the place we deserve, and above all get back to winning.

    "I always want to play and I want to give my best. I know that this shirt is special, it brings out my best. We have built a good story, which I never forgot even when I left Juve. I never had any doubt that this was my place.

    "The first time here I was younger, I did not have the experience I have now. I grew up in my personal life, I have two children, a wife, and also as a footballer. I won the World Cup with France, the Europa League with United, I played with great players and a great team.

  • Conte rubbishes 'disrespectful' Juventus links ahead of North London Derby Conte rubbishes 'disrespectful' Juventus links ahead of North London Derby

    Antonio Conte described reports linking him with a return to Juventus as "disrespectful" ahead of Tottenham's North London Derby clash with Arsenal.

    Spurs are unbeaten in their seven Premier League games this season and trail the Gunners by just one point ahead of Saturday's trip to the Emirates Stadium. 

    Should Tottenham avoid defeat at the home of their local rivals, it will be just the second time they have gone unbeaten through their first eight games of a Premier League season, having previously done so in 2016-17.

    Conte's work with Tottenham has seen him linked with a return to Juventus, who he led to three consecutive Serie A titles between 2011-12 and 2013-14.

    Bianconeri boss Massimiliano Allegri is under pressure after they recorded just two wins in their opening seven Serie A matches this season, but Conte has rubbished speculation he would be tempted by a return to Turin. 

    "This is incredible. In this period I think this is disrespectful for the coach that works in Juventus and for me working in Tottenham," Conte said on Thursday.

    "We have just started the season. Many times I have spoken about this topic and I've always said I'm happy and enjoying my time with Tottenham. 

    "We have the whole season to find the best solution for the club and for me, and for sure I'm enjoying my time at Tottenham. I have a great relationship with the owner [Daniel Levy] and [sporting director Fabio] Paratici. 

    "I don't see any problems at the moment in the future. We both signed the contract. I don't want to listen to someone speaking about this."

    Tottenham overcame Arsenal in a tense battle for Champions League qualification last season, going on to claim fourth place after beating the Gunners 3-0 in May.

    Conte, however, believes Mikel Arteta's side have improved since then, adding: "For sure Arsenal had a fantastic start, they lost only one game against [Manchester] United. They are showing to be a really good team.

    "In the summer they made good signings and improved the team that, don't forget, before the last three games of last season, were four points up on us. 

    "We are talking about a really good team that, last season, we did a really good job to overcome in the last three games.

    "At the same time, I know the quality of this team, that they are working with Arteta for many years. For me, he's a really good coach. He can have in front of him a great career."

    Both Hugo Lloris and Dejan Kulusevski are reportedly doubtful for the trip to Arsenal with minor injuries, and Conte believes the punishing nature of the schedule between now and the World Cup will reveal which sides are genuine title contenders. 

    "I have seen that many clubs are having big problems with players that played these two games [in the international break], and for sure Tottenham is one of these clubs," he added.

    "You have to understand this was the last game [for the players] to show they deserve to play the World Cup, also for the coaches it was the last period to call the players.

    "For sure, to play so many games before the international break, and then again now to play 13 games in 43 days, it's crazy, it's crazy. 

    "For sure, we have to face it with injuries. In this period, you understand which are the really competitive squads. 

    "This is the moment in which you understand who are the title contenders and the teams that are competitive for Champions League."

    Saturday's match will be the first North London Derby since December 2007 to begin with one of the sides sitting top of the Premier League. 

    Should Spurs win, it would be the first time in top-flight history that either of the teams has beaten the other to replace them at the top of the table.

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