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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  • Rumour Has It: PSG interested in Aubameyang amid Barcelona links Rumour Has It: PSG interested in Aubameyang amid Barcelona links

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continues to be linked with a move from Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are the latest European heavyweight reportedly interested in the forward.

    Aubameyang, 30, is reportedly a target for Barcelona after scoring 16 goals in 26 games for struggling Arsenal this season.

    However, with Edinson Cavani potentially leaving, PSG are also eyeing the Gabon international.

     

    TOP STORY – PSG INTERESTED IN AUBAMEYANG AMID BARCELONA LINKS

    PSG are considering a move for Aubameyang, according to Foot Mercato.

    Cavani may leave the Ligue 1 giants for Atletico Madrid during this transfer window and Aubameyang could be his replacement, the report says.

    PSG are reportedly discussing a loan with an option to buy Aubameyang.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Staying at Emirates Stadium, Arsenal are close to a deal for Flamengo defender Pablo Mari, according to ESPN and other reports. The Premier League club will reportedly pay £8.4million (€10m) for the Spaniard.

    - Marcos Rojo could be on his way out of Manchester United. After just three Premier League appearances this season, the defender is heading back to Estudiantes – where he started his career – on loan, according to the Mirror.

    - Carles Perez is set to join Roma. Sky Sport Italia reports the Barcelona forward will join the Serie A club on loan until the end of the season, with a mandatory purchase option for €13m to be part of the deal.

    - Inter are already preparing for a period of dominance, including next season. Sport Italia reports Napoli star Lorenzo Insigne has been offered to Inter, who may land the forward ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

    - Inter and Napoli seem to have a decent relationship. CalcioMercato reports Matteo Politano will swap Milan for Naples, where he will sign a deal until 2024 with a medical set for Monday.

    - Mauricio Pochettino remains without a job after being sacked by Tottenham in November. The Mirror reports Spurs will be entitled to £10m in compensation if the Argentinian finds another job before the end of the season.

  • LaLiga president condemns 'step back' after Williams makes racism complaint LaLiga president condemns 'step back' after Williams makes racism complaint

    LaLiga president Javier Tebas condemned an awful day for Spanish football after Inaki Williams reported racist abuse while Barcelona and Valencia fans clashed at Mestalla.

    Athletic Bilbao striker Williams said he was racially abused by Espanyol supporters during their top-flight match on Saturday.

    The forward passed on a complaint to Athletic captain Iker Muniain, who in turn spoke with referee Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez, while Williams appeared to clash with fans as he was substituted.

    Elsewhere, supporters of Barca and Valencia were involved in violent confrontations ahead of a match the home side won 2-0, handing Blaugrana head coach Quique Setien his first defeat.

    Tebas vowed LaLiga would investigate both incidents, posting on Twitter: "Today we have taken a step back in the work started years ago.

    "The violent incidents of Barcelona and Valencia, the racist insults to Inaki Williams, they do a lot of damage to all of Spanish football.

    "LaLiga takes responsibility. We will look with the clubs where the error is."

    Williams posted a message on his official Twitter account, writing: "It is very sad that today we continue to see racism in football. We have to end it among EVERYONE. Thanks for your support."

  • Setien working on communicating ideas to Barca after first defeat Setien working on communicating ideas to Barca after first defeat

    Quique Setien acknowledged Barcelona did not effectively carry out his game plan and their communication must be worked on following a humbling defeat at Valencia.

    Setien lost for the first time since replacing Ernesto Valverde as Barca boss on January 13, going down 2-0 at Mestalla thanks to a double from Maxi Gomez – the first of which took a heavy deflection off Jordi Alba.

    The Blaugrana were on the back foot for much of the match, rallying only briefly between the goals, and Setien conceded they had not played well.

    The former Real Betis coach was left searching for improvement, suggesting his players had not understood their instructions.

    "They still do not interpret [instructions] well or maybe we do not explain them well," Setien said. "Nobody likes what we have seen today.

    "Valencia compromised us, they closed us down well. Positionally, there are things that we have to correct. We have given away many aimless passes. We do not work to do this.

    "In the first half, we did not play well at all. The best thing was that we went into half-time at 0-0.

    "In the second half, the team improved somewhat and we were able to get into the game, but this is not enough for us."

    Setien insisted there was no issue with Barca's mentality, though, adding: "It was not a problem of attitude. I have seen how committed they are.

    "We were not well positioned, we have not understood some things, while Valencia have raised the game. It has cost us."

    Midfielder Sergio Busquets agreed Barca were taking time to adjust to Setien's tactics.

    "I think the players have to adapt to the coaching staff's ideas," he said. "There were good things in this game and others that need to be improved."

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