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Barca move off: Neymar set to stay at PSG as Dembele refuses Ligue 1 switch

5:23 AM EDT 9/1/19
Neymar
The Spanish champions were optimistic that a deal could be struck, but ultimately the Brazilian will remain in France

Neymar is set to remain a Paris Saint-Germain player for the 2019-20 season, Goal can confirm, as talks between the French champions and Barcelona failed to reach a conclusion that suited both parties, ending a transfer saga that has dragged on all summer long.

PSG originally refused to enter talks with the Catalan side due to a breakdown in relations between the two clubs. But with Neymar effectively downing tools to force through a move, the Parisians relaxed their stance in a bid to offload the wantaway star.

There was growing optimism on Barca's end that a deal could be struck before the end of the summer window, having cleared Philippe Coutinho's wages off their books in order to avoid falling foul of financial fair play regulations.

Face to face talks between the clubs' hierarchies followed, with several names being offered up by the Blaugrana as makeweights in proposed part-swap deals. PSG's insistence that Nelson Semedo be included initially stalled progress as Barca did not want to part ways with the full-back.

Ivan Rakitic's name also came up, and the Croat being dropped from Ernesto Valverde's recent starting XIs suggested he could be on his way. Ultimately, however, it was Ousmane Dembele's refusal to move to Paris that scuppered Neymar's Camp Nou return.

The man signed as the Brazilian's replacement in 2017 has had something of a rough time of it in Barcelona, suffering from persistent injury problems and having his attitude and lifestyle called into question on multiple occasions.

And while a fresh start in his native France might have seemed a good idea from the outside, the 22-year-old has flat-out refused to move, with money seemingly not a factor as Dembele plots a long career with the Liga champions.

Neymar, meanwhile, has informed a selection of his PSG team-mates that he will be lining up alongside them once more upon the completion of his international duties with Brazil – the Selecao take on Colombia and Peru in friendlies on September 7 and 11.

Back in Paris, Thomas Tuchel's outfit will be looking forward to reintegrating Neymar into their side and continue their solid start to the Ligue 1 campaign when they play host to Strasbourg on September 14.