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Zone Blitz: Are Barcelona doing the right thing by trying to re-sign Neymar?

By George Davis, Mariah Ramharack&Lance Whittaker July 18, 2019

It's said you should never go back to your ex but Barcelona and Neymar could be a re-marriage made in heaven.

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  • Neymar absent again but Tuchel won't rule out forward staying at PSG Neymar absent again but Tuchel won't rule out forward staying at PSG

    Neymar will not take part in Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 meeting with Rennes on Sunday, but Thomas Tuchel still has hope of keeping the Brazil star at the club.

    Doubt remains over Neymar's future at PSG, with Barcelona and Real Madrid having reportedly had bids rejected for the wantaway forward.

    Neymar has been returning to full fitness from an ankle injury that kept him out of the Copa America, but he was included in Tite's Brazil squad for September friendlies against Colombia and Peru, while PSG sporting director Leonardo has claimed the problem has "completely healed."

    Neymar was left out of PSG's opening fixture against Nimes, and the 27-year-old will again be absent when the champions travel to Rennes, although head coach Tuchel insists there has been no change in the situation regarding a possible transfer.

    "He started the training session with us, but finished individually," Tuchel told a news conference. "It's a little too early [for him] to start in a match, especially at Rennes' home.

    "He is my player and when I think of a strong team, it includes him. If there is no solution for him, he will stay with us.

    "For now, nothing has changed. Neymar has three years left on his contract.

    "He is sensitive, so I will always protect him. He needs to train with us and raise his intensity.

    "I want to see him play at his best level for 90 minutes, with aggression and lots of dribbling."

    While Neymar will not feature against Rennes, Idrissa Gueye is set to travel, though Tuchel suggested the former Everton midfielder would not be fit to start.

    "Integration is easy with Idrissa: he can talk with everyone, he is very polite, humble," said Tuchel, who will also be without Presnel Kimpembe, Ander Herrera, Thilo Kehrer and Layvin Kurzawa.

    "He has to adapt to our style of play, to our principles. It's a little early for him, but he's going to make the trip with us.

    "He's a player who can play at [number] six or eight but, for me, he's better at six. That's what we expect from him."

  • Barcelona confirm calf injury for Luis Suarez Barcelona confirm calf injury for Luis Suarez

    Luis Suarez is out for an indefinite period after injuring his right calf in Barcelona's LaLiga loss to Athletic Bilbao on Friday, the club have confirmed.

    The 32-year-old striker had to be replaced before half-time at San Mames after receiving treatment following a shot that hit the post.

    Lionel Messi missed the match with a calf issue of his own suffered shortly before Barca travelled to the United States for two friendly matches against Napoli last week.

    Their absences were felt as Ernesto Valverde's men succumbed to a stunning late winner from Athletic veteran Aritz Aduriz.

    "Tests carried out on Saturday morning have confirmed Luis Suarez has an injured right calf," Barca said in a statement.

    "His recovery will dictate his return to action."

    Suarez's early withdrawal was the first time he has been substituted in the first half of a LaLiga game since he joined Barca from Liverpool in 2014.

    The champions suddenly look light on forwards, with Philippe Coutinho set to join Bayern Munich on loan with a view to a permanent deal.

    Antoine Griezmann debuted against Athletic, but Suarez's injury and Coutinho's departure could see Barca ramp up their interest in former player Neymar, who looks increasingly likely to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

  • Rumour Has It: United and City to battle for Dortmund's Sancho Rumour Has It: United and City to battle for Dortmund's Sancho

    The Premier League window may have already closed, but Manchester United and Manchester City are still in the headlines.

    After going head-to-head for Harry Maguire, the two Manchester clubs are reportedly eyeing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

    This rumour will not go away anytime soon.

     

    TOP STORY – UNITED AND CITY BATTLING FOR SANCHO

    According to the Daily Mail, Sancho will leave Dortmund at the end of the season as rivals United and City do battle for the England international.

    Sancho was reportedly on United's list of targets during the off-season, but Dortmund were unwilling to sell their 19-year-old star.

    The English talent has flourished since joining Dortmund from Premier League champions City in 2017, and the Daily Mail claims the Bundesliga club are already looking for replacements.

     

    ROUND-UP 

    - Inter are considering a move for Man United's Alexis Sanchez after missing out on Edin Dzeko, reports Gianlucadimarzio.com. Bosnian striker Dzeko signed a new contract with Roma and Inter are now looking for alternatives, including Sanchez, free agent Fernando Llorente, Eintracht Frankfurt star Ante Rebic and Arkadiusz Milik, who could be used in a swap involving Mauro Icardi.

    - According to le10sport, Ajax, AC Milan and Lille are among the clubs interested in Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo. The 19-year-old arrived from Toulouse in January.

    - Brescia have offered former Juventus and Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio a two-year deal, reports Sky Sport Italia and other outlets in the country. Marchisio is a free agent after leaving Zenit and the 33-year-old could be joined at Brescia by Mario Balotelli.

    - Sport claims Barcelona are prepared to sell midfielder Arturo Vidal for €20million as the Chile international continues to be linked to Inter and a reunion with former Juve boss Antonio Conte.

    - According to Corriere dello Sport, Napoli and Juve are the only options for Inter outcast Icardi following Dzeko's Roma renewal.

    - James Rodriguez may not leave Real Madrid following an injury to Eden Hazard, according to reports. James had been tipped to join either Napoli or Atletico Madrid, but the Colombia star is in Madrid's squad for their LaLiga opener at Celta Vigo on Saturday.

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