FC Barcelona's audacious $115 million swap deal for PSG forward Neymar could actually leave the club worse off

Neymar transfer news
  • FC Barcelona is reportedly planning an audacious swap deal involving Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar.
  • The deal includes a $115 million fee as well as two Barça players heading to PSG.
  • Reports indicate that one of the players on offer is the 22-year-old "electric" athlete Ousmane Dembele.
  • The trade could quite feasibly strengthen PSG while weakening Barcelona.
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FC Barcelona is reportedly planning an audacious swap deal involving Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, but it is a trade that could actually leave the club worse off.

Barça sold Neymar to PSG for a world-record transfer fee of $275 million in 2017 but the player has failed to live up to expectations by missing critical parts of the season because of injury.
He has also attracted negative headlines for lashing out at a fan who reportedly told him to "learn how to play" after a shock French Cup defeat, and was recently accused of sexual assault by a 26-year-old woman, an allegation he denies.

Read more: The president of La Liga doesn't want Neymar to return to FC Barcelona because the player's image would be bad for the league

Neymar's refusal to attend pre-season training until Wednesday, July 16 - two days after he was due back - heightened rumors he would be leaving the club.

And there may even be a buyer waiting in the wings as Barcelona is keen to bring him back to Camp Nou no matter the cost.

Read more: FC Barcelona is reportedly desperate to re-sign Neymar from PSG because Lionel Messi wants him backSky Sports reports that Barcelona has offered $115 million, plus two players from a shortlist that includes Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo, Malcom, and Samuel Umtiti.

But there is skepticism from the industry that recruiting Neymar, 27, at the expense of Dembele, 22, is the wisest of strategies.

Miguel Delaney, the chief soccer reporter at the British newspaper The Independent, tweeted: "Given age, and also the much-discussed off-field issues for both, don't think it's all that sensible for Barcelona to lose Dembele for Neymar.

"If they must get Neymar, I wouldn't sacrifice Dembele. He's electric."

PSG sporting director Leonardo said earlier in the month that if there was "an offer that suits everyone" then he would not be loathe to losing Neymar in the current transfer window.

Considering the player plus cash deal on offer, Leonardo may be keen to sell if he believes, like Delaney, that PSG is actually strengthened out of the trade while simultaneously weakening Barça, a Champions League rival.

PSG's season officially begins on August 3 with the Trophee des Champions match against Rennes.