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Barcelona are reportedly considering a move for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Angel Di Maria before the end of the current transfer window.
According to Sport, the Blaugrana have a genuine interest in the Argentina international, who has also enjoyed spells at Real Madrid and Manchester United. It’s noted Barca are seeking to add to their attacking options after the £200 million sale of Neymar to PSG.
“Barcelona see him as a player with similar characteristics to Neymar, a winger with great quality and someone who can break through rival lines, play on both wings and defend better than Neymar did,” the report continued, while adding Barca have attempted to land Di Maria twice before.
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The 29-year-old’s career has oscillated between excellent and erratic in recent years. After shining for Madrid, he left for United and struggled in a solitary season. He then joined PSG and excelled in 2015-16 before finding the going a little tougher last term.
There’s no doubting Di Maria’s ability, though, as he has the ability to win matches singlehandedly. Per WhoScored.com, in 24 Ligue 1 starts last term, he was still the most creative player in the division:
Ángel Di María: Has created more clear-cut goalscoring opportunities (52) than any other player in the last two Ligue 1 seasons https://t.co/BdZp97zvrm
Barcelona fans may feel a little underwhelmed if they did go after Di Maria, though, as he’s undoubtedly past his best.
At Real, United and now seemingly PSG, he has found it increasingly difficult to force his way into the starting XI. While he would add something different to the Barca team, he’s not to the high standards the supporters have come to expect from their attacking players.
With Neymar, Edinson Cavani, Julian Draxler, Lucas Moura and Javier Pastore all battling for spots in the side at PSG, it’s easy to see Di Maria maybe moving on in this window. Though Barcelona may be short in the final third, he feels like a player they should avoid.
Real Madrid in for Ousmane Dembele
According to Gerard Romero of RAC1 (h/t Juan Jimenez of AS), Real Madrid are ready to explore a potential player-plus-cash deal for Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele, who is also said to be a target for Barcelona.
It’s added that Madrid president Florentino Perez has also advised Dortmund chief Reinhard Rauball “before you sell him [Dembele], tell me how much for.”
As noted by Jimenez, Barca are said to have lodged an offer for the 20-year-old already, but it was rejected. Dembele then failed to show up for training with Borussia on Thursday.
Per Sky Sports News’ Kaveh Solhekol, he has subsequently been punished:
Kaveh Solhekol @SkyKaveh
Ousmane Dembele suspended until next week & fined by Borussia Dortmund. Not willing to accept his behaviour. They say he’s still in Dortmund
Barcelona are said to have outlined Dembele as a man who could potentially fill the void left by Neymar on the flank.
The Frenchman is undoubtedly one of the most enthralling players to watch in the game. He’s naturally two-footed, boasts incredible pace and for a footballer still so young, he is a composed decision-maker in dangerous areas.
It’s easy to see why Barcelona are chasing him, as well as Madrid. But in a summer that has seen the Catalan club lose one of their crown jewels, they can’t afford to lose out to their great rivals.