There are several updates to this story that are not even a couple hours old, so hang on tight. We know that Barcelona want Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho to replace Neymar, and that the Catalan club has made more than one offer, only to be turned down. Today, Liverpool owners made an official statement on the team’s website, which does not leave a lot of room for interpretation: “The club’s definitive stance is that no offers for Philippe will be considered and he will remain a member of Liverpool Football Club when the summer window closes.“ Not long after this, it was reported that Coutinho has requested a transfer, but Jurgen Klopp shot that rumor down while also saying Coutinho will not be playing in Liverpool’s opener against Watford. Sky Sports then quoted a member of Coutinho’s family blasting Liverpool for not letting him leave. This is the kind of story that either turns into a player being sold around Monday, or we’re going to have to wait for the last day of the window, but Barcelona have already offered €100 million -- an initial €85m and then €15m in add-ons.
Meanwhile, you may have seen the reports that Kylian Mbappe is close to a move to Paris Saint-Germain, which would be an absolute bombshell considering they have already dropped a metric ton of money at Barcelona’s door for Neymar. Yesterday news came out from several french sources that Mbappe was ready for a move to Paris and that PSG beat Madrid out by offering a higher salary than Madrid were willing to pay. PSG also are looking to sign Monaco’s Fabinho, but ESPN’s Jonathan Johnson reports that the deal may not happen this summer, as Monaco do want to retain *somebody* after several departures. The departures of Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy to Manchester City and Tiemoue Bakayoko to Chelsea have reportedly made Mbappe question whether to stay at the club or not, and the player has been linked to Real Madrid all summer. This could be the beginning of another mega-move to PSG.
Speaking of PSG, have no fear, Neymar is clear. The issue that was preventing Neymar from being registered in Ligue 1 has been resolved, and Barcelona have received their massive amount of cash, which means Neymar will be cleared to make his PSG debut (which still sounds weird). Neymar should be free to make his debut, which could be Sunday against Guingamp. Barcelona refused to send Neymar’s International Transfer Certificate (ITC) to PSG until they paid the transfer fee in full, but the French FA confirmed on Twitter that they had received the document.
The Iranian Government has banned two players, Masoud Shojaei and Ehsan Haji Safi, for life from playing for the Iranian National team after the two played against an Israeli team in club competition. Both players were in the squad for Greece's Panionios against Maccabi Tel Aviv in a Europa League Qualifier, but did not play. Nevertheless, this violates Iranian government policy as Iran does not recognize Israel as a country and forbids its athletes to play against any Israeli teams. This is also a country that forbids women from attending matches, since 1979, as it deems arenas inappropriate for women.
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