It’s official. Paris Saint-Germain have sent shockwaves through world football by smashing the world record fee for Brazilian superstar Neymar.
The Catalan club’s support must be stunned that they have lost Neymar, who will wear the number 10 jersey in Paris and earn a reported £520,000-a-week.
However, Barcelona have to move on swiftly and try to benefit from the massive transfer fee by investing in their own squad. Defence and midfield are two areas that crucially need to be strengthened.
Barca may also aim to sign a big name forward to bolster their attack alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. A marquee signing would also appease concerned fans and make a statement that they are still among the top guns in Europe.
Here are five potential big hitters the La Liga giants could target.
5. Philippe Coutinho
It is widely believed Coutinho is high on Ernesto Valverde’s hit list. Barca have even reportedly had two mega bids rejected for the Brazil international and some reports indicate an agreement has been reached with the player’s representatives.
However, Jurgen Klopp is determined Coutinho is going nowhere. The player could have to force the issue if he wants to move to the Camp Nou.
4. Ousmane Dembele
The 20-year-old is one of the most exciting young prospects in Europe and Barca may believe they can lure him away from Borussia Dortmund.
Dembele is part of an incredibly talented crop of young French players coming through and he has the pace and skill in abundance to take the now vacant number 11 jersey in the Catalan capital.
3. Kylian Mbappe
The most talented of the aforementioned young French players is 18-year-old Kylian Mbappe who burst onto the scene for Monaco last season. He took Europe by storm registering 26 goals last term and was the star in Monaco’s impressive run to the Champions League semi-final.
Mbappe is, without a doubt, one of the most talented teenagers the game has seen, with his electric movement, pace and finishing ability.
However, as it stands fierce rivals Real Madrid are the frontrunners to sign Mbappe. He would also cost about €180 million, which is a large chunk of the Neymar money.
2. Paulo Dybala
The Argentine attacker scored twice against Barca to help dump them out of the Champions League last season so they will be fully aware of his talent.
Dybala has been linked with Barcelona before and looks to still be a player of interest. It would be difficult to convince the Italian champions to let the jewel in their crown go though.
1. Alexis Sanchez
A return for Sanchez to the Camp Nou? The Chilean has just one year left in his contract and earlier in the summer, he looked certain to depart the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger has insisted Sanchez will remain with the club as a move away has failed to materialise in the meantime. Could Barca intervene though? Arsenal risk losing their star player for free to any club he chooses next summer and it appears unlikely he will sign a new contract.
Vincent O’Shea, Pundit Arena