Transfer Talk: Neymar's Barcelona return sees major setback

The Premier League transfer window has closed, but the rest of Europe remains open for business until Sept. 2. Plus, it's never too late to look forward to January! Click here to view the latest transfers and keep up to date with the latest gossip below.

TOP STORY: Barca reject PSG's request, will not return with another Neymar offer

Barcelona have turned down Paris Saint-Germain's request for three players and €130 million in exchange for Neymar and are unlikely to return with another bid for the Brazilian as things stand, sources have told ESPN FC.

Sources at the Catalan club say they are still open to negotiating Neymar's return, but PSG will have to come to them and lower their demands. The European transfer window closes on Sept. 2.

Following a series of meetings between the two clubs this week, the French side told Barca what they wanted in order to sell Neymar. They requested the inclusion of Ivan Rakitic and Jean-Clair Todibo on a permanent basis, the loan of Ousmane Dembele and €130m in cash.

Barca were not prepared to offer that much and notified PSG on Friday that they would not be taking them up on their offer.

The Spanish champions' pursuit of Neymar has been ongoing throughout the summer. Their first offer included Philippe Coutinho -- who has since moved to Bayern Munich on loan -- Rakitic and €80m. They have also made various loan offers with the option to make the deal permanent next summer.

PSG have rejected all of Barca's offers, but have shown a willingness to talk since sporting director Leonardo revealed in June that Neymar wanted to leave Paris.

Barca's sporting director Eric Abidal headed a delegation that travelled to the French capital this week to continue negotiations. Director Javier Bordas told reporters after the meeting that Neymar was "closer" to returning to the club he quit in 2017, but that there was still no agreement.

President Josep Maria Bartomeu then briefly met with PSG chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi at a UEFA meeting in Monaco on Thursday. However, the two were unable to progress negotiations.

With just three days to go in the transfer window, high ranking sources at Barca have confirmed to ESPN FC they are unlikely to make another bid as things stand.

They are not completely ruling out a deal, though, and would be open to renegotiating a transfer if PSG come back to them.


23.05 BST: Folks that's another installment of Transfer Talk Live in the books. But fear not, we'll be back shortly with tomorrow's paper round as we speed toward Monday's close of the European window.

22.59 BST: Man City boss Pep Guardiola has an interesting take on who's to blame for Alexis Sanchez's failed spell at Old Trafford.

22.22 BST: Flamengo have sold Colombia international midfielder Gustavo Cuellar to Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal for €8 million, reports ESPN Brazil.

21.47 BST: How did Alexis Sanchez go from a top player to one of Manchester United's worst signings ever? ESPN FC's Craig Burley explains. WATCH.

21.03 BST: Norway and Southampton winger Mohamed Elyounoussi will spend the season on loan with Scottish champions Celtic, the club has announced. The deal for the 25-year-old, who has 25 appearances at international level, does not include an option to buy.

20.20 BST: Tired of the Neymar saga? OK, who isn't? But it's not often the soft-spoken Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde reveals what he's really thinking.

However, Valverde did just that in a news conference ahead of his team's weekend match against Osasuna, saying: "I am really looking forward to that day -- September 2 -- so that we can all get some rest at last and know what we have for the season as it has gone on too long.

"Neymar is a PSG player and as always we respect all our rivals, but I reiterate that I'm looking forward to this ending once and for all."

19.37 BST: Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hasn't been shy about the likelihood of Matteo Darmian leaving the club before the close of the European window and now we may know the location. Sky Sports Italia transfer guru Gianluca DiMarzio is reporting the defender is headed back to Serie A with Parma in a permanent deal pending a medical tomorrow.

19.05 BST: If you think the early closure of the Premier League transfer window puts English teams at a disadvantage, you're not alone. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp feels the same way.

He told a news conference ahead of the Reds match against Burnley: "The transfer business is a European business, or a world business. We have been used to Russia and China being open for longer but it's different when the Spanish and the Italian leagues are still open because they are direct competitors, that's not how it should be. We're all set [for the season], we don't like it."

18.40 BST: West Ham United playmaker Manuel Lanzini has extended his contract until 2023 with an option to extend it by a further two years, the Premier League club said on Friday.

Lanzini, who signed for West Ham in 2015, has made over 100 appearances for the London club in all competitions, scoring 21 goals and providing 19 assists.

18.05 BST: D.C. United and U.S. U20 international midfielder Chris Durkin has been loaned to Sint Truiden of the Belgian Pro League with an option to buy, multiple sources have confirmed to ESPN.

DCU will receive a loan fee of $250,000, and a transfer fee of $2.25 million if Sint Truiden exercises the purchase option.

The Washington Post was the first to report the loan, while The Athletic was first with the loan details.

Durkin, 19, made 41 league and cup appearances since being signed on a Homegrown Player deal back in 2016, but has struggled with an ankle injury of late. He was key component in the U.S. U20 team that reached the quarterfinals of the recent FIFA U20 World Cup, playing in four matches.

17.25 BST: Elseid Hysaj's agent has confirmed that his player has an agreement with Valencia, Sportitalia have reported.

The Albania international joined Napoli in 2015 after coming through Empoli's academy and spending three years in their senior team.

The right-back, 25, has made 171 appearances for Napoli.

16.45 BST: Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane wants to make one last push for Paul Pogba, according to AS in Spain.

The Manchester United midfielder has been Los Blancos' No. 1 target since the signing of Eden Hazard earlier this summer, but with a thin squad following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez in particular, the Premier League club are extremely unlikely to let the France international join the list of departees.

Still, that will not prevent Zidane from pushing his club to pursue Pogba one last time before the window shuts on Sept. 2, AS have reported.

15.30 BST: Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas tried to play coy when speaking to told French publication L'Equipe about possible signings this summer, though he may not have been as reserved as he hoped...

"I told [PSG chairman and CEO] Nasser Al-Khelaifi about PSG players I would like to take to Lyon when we were in Liverpool recently," he said.

"However, for now, there is nothing definite. I cannot tell you about it. At the back, or up top? At the back, we lost a left-back this summer...

"It would be a loan. I do not know, so we will see. I think the player is interested. We will see.

"It is little Stanley N'Soki."

Very subtle.

14.25 BST: Barcelona may be struggling to agree with PSG on a deal for Neymar, but they have reached an agreement with fellow La Liga side Valencia over Rafinha.

According to Sport in Spain, the deal depends on Valencia owner Peter Lim giving the green light, but it's looking very likely that the Barca midfielder will make the switch before Sept. 2, when the transfer window closes.

14.00 BST: While Inter Milan may be looking to offload striker Mauro Icardi to Atletico Madrid, rivals AC Milan could end up signing a forward from the La Liga club.

La Gazzetta dello Sport have reported that Milan have their sights set on Angel Correa.

But with the the Serie A club and Atleti struggling to work out a deal, Milan CFO Zvonomir Boban has identified Real Madrid's Mariano Diaz as a back-up option.

13.40 BST: Speak of the devil...

Roma have just taken to Twitter to confirm that Chris Smalling has arrived in the Italian capital and completed his medical!

Another English defender makes the move to a big European club, following Kieran Trippier's transfer to Atletico Madrid this summer.

13.10 BST: Chris Smalling's loan move to Roma seems set to go through at any moment.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed on Friday that the deal is very much real, telling a news conference: "The opportunity for Chris is something that came up the last couple of days.

"We sat down [on Thursday] and I couldn't promise Chris regular football.

"[Roma is] a big club and hopefully he will come back stronger for it."

The centre-back, who signed a new long-term contract last season, has slipped down the pecking order at United since the arrival of Harry Maguire from Leicester in the summer.

12.30 BST: Sources have told ESPN FC that Atletico Madrid are negotiating a deal to sign Mauro Icardi on loan from Inter Milan.

The deal would include an option to buy the Argentina international for €70m.

The striker has been placed on the transfer market by Inter and saw his No. 9 shirt taken by new signing Romelu Lukaku.

Read the full story here.

12.10 BST: Former Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente has agreed a two-year deal with Napoli, according to Sky Italia.

The Spaniard, 34, has been a free agent since his contract with Spurs expired in June.

He is set to undergo a medical with the Italian club this weekend.

Llorente previously played in Serie A between 2013 and 2015, when he represented Juventus.

11.45 BST: Nice have announced the signing of Adam Ounas from Napoli on a season-long loan.

The deal gives the French club the option of buying the midfielder, who also plays for the Algeria national team, after the season is up.

Ounas, 22, previously played in Ligue 1 for Bordeaux.

11.20 BST: Real Madrid midfielder Lucas Silva says he is training hard and hopes to remain in Europe.

The Brazilian player is tied to Madrid until June 2020, but is considered surplus to requirements with Los Blancos.

Silva has only made nine appearances for Real since signing for the club in 2015 from Cruzeiro, where he spent the past two seasons on loan.

"I have one year left on my contract with Real Madrid," Silva told Esporte Interativo. "I arrived at Madrid a few days ago and I'm training, not with the club due to bureaucratic issues, but separately with a personal trainer. I want to be consistent and train, so as not to lose the rhythm in order to achieve my aim which is to return and play in Europe."

11.00 BST: Former Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra expects Neymar to silence critics with strong performances this season, no matter which club he plays for.

Neymar's future is still up in the air with Barcelona attempting to prise him loose from Paris Saint-Germain.

Speaking after the Champions League draw, Evra was asked about Neymar and he said in Portuguese to Brazilian outlet Esporte Interativo: "Whenever I speak to him, I tell him that God will fulfil your project.

"I think people speak badly of Neymar, but he is a good person, he has a positive energy, he respects people. For me he is a top player. I think Neymar will become much stronger this year, but stronger mentally.

"People speak badly of him but he is training very hard to silence critics."

10.40 BST: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said Chris Smalling is set to sign for Roma on loan and added Matteo Darmian could also leave before Monday's deadline.

Smalling flew to Italy on Friday morning to finalise a season-long deal with the Serie A side. Darmian is also set to return to Italy but Marcos Rojo will stay at Old Trafford despite interest from AC Milan, Monaco and Marseille.

10.18 BST: Roma could be in the market for Corinthians midfielder Mateus Vital, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Roma is a great club, but I don't know anything yet," Vital said after Corinthians played Fluminese this week, but the Italian publication have reported that there is already a five-year agreement between the Serie A club and the midfielder. Though Corinthians have apparently already rejected an €8m bid.

09.55 BST: Marko Grujic has not given up hope of returning to Liverpool as a first-team player next season. On loan at Hertha Berlin for the second year running, the 23-year-old Serbia international told German outlet Bild that his "goal is to play at Liverpool in a European top team."

The midfielder added: "It's possible, but only if I win regular minutes at Hertha and play well. But you never know. Maybe Liverpool want to sell me next summer. I'd love it if Hertha were to pay the fee then."

Hertha Berlin started their campaign with a 2-2 draw at Bayern, but while the Serb was on target at the Allianz Arena, he missed a good chance to level the scoreline in a 3-0 defeat to Wolfsburg last weekend. Grujic joined Liverpool from Red Star in January 2016 but he has since had loan spells at Red Star, Cardiff and Hertha.

09.21 BST: Atletico Madrid CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin has all but ruled out the signing of Valencia striker Rodrigo.

The Spain international was close to joining Atletico earlier this summer but a reported €60m transfer did not materialise. Reports in Spain have claimed that Atletico must first offload Angel Correa before signing Rodrigo, however negotiations between Atletico and AC Milan regarding the sale of the Argentinian forward have so far not been fruitful.

Asked if if was impossible for Atletico to sign Rodrigo, Gil Marin said to Spanish TV: ​"I believe so."

09.00 BST: Barcelona youngster Juan Miranda, 19, is set to join Schalke 04 on a two-year loan without a view to a permanent transfer.

The left-back was pictured arriving at Dusseldorf airport late on Thursday by German outlet Bild and is set to complete his move to the Bundesliga on Friday.

PAPER TALK (by Steven Wright)

Defensive clear-out signals the end for Darmian

Matteo Darmian looks set to leave Manchester United before the closure of the European transfer window, BBC Sport reports.

All parties are in agreement that a move away from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side would be best for the full-back, who has played only 13 times since December 2017 and United have reportedly received an inquiry from an unnamed club.

- UCL draw: Madrid get PSG; Barca, BVB, Inter together
- Ogden: Draw good for English clubs; tricky for Spain
- Champions League group stage: Day-by-day fixtures

The 29-year-old made no secret of his intentions to leave the club last summer, and with Aaron Wan-Bissaka slotting straight into right-back at Old Trafford, game time looks hard to come by for the Italian.

Following the arrival of Harry Maguire, there is also plenty of speculation that United defenders Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo will be on their way out of the club in the coming days, with ESPN FC sources reporting the former has drawn interest from Roma.

Ozil going nowhere

If you think Mesut Ozil is leaving Arsenal before Monday's closure of the European transfer window, think again. Or so says the Metro.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery told the media that, while several players are likely to leave The Gunners before the deadline, Ozil is not one of them.

Emery said: "This week he's training well and progressing physically better and training with normal work for us. He's going to be closer to us and available for Sunday, I think. We are not speaking about the possibility for Mesut to leave."

Whilst Ozil appears to be safe, Nacho Monreal, linked with a move to Spain, might not be so fortunate. On the left-back, Emery added: "Yes, he's one possibility [who could leave]."


- Victor Wanyama is close to becoming a Club Brugge player, after the Belgian side agreed a £12 million deal with Tottenham Hotspur for the midfielder, Sky Sports reports. Wanyama is expected to complete the move officially in the next few days.

- Robert Lewandowski has extended his Bayern Munich contract by two years until 2023. The Poland international, who has been linked with moves to Real Madrid or Chelsea in the past, will be almost 35 by the time his contract expires. He has not ruled out a move to MLS before retiring from football.