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Barcelona’s Three-Point Plan To Replace Neymar

Barcelona already have three signings ‘at the ready’ as they look to fill the void left by Neymar, who this week completed a world-record €222 million transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele of Borussia Dortmund and Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez are all wanted by the Catalan giants between now and the end of the window.

According to Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are ‘at the ready’ to sign all three as Ernesto Valverde looks to rebuild his squad ahead of the new season.

That makes good headlines in Catalonia, but wrestling Coutinho and Dembele from their respective sides in the next three weeks will be extremely difficult.

Coutinho has been a target for the Spanish giants all summer, with Liverpool steadfast in their claim that the Brazilian will not leave.

Barcelona are set to return with a second bid for the midfielder, having already had a €80m offer rejected. And Mundo Deportivo suggest the Spanish outfit are confident of landing their man.

But Jurgen Klopp has warned Barcelona that even €100m would not convince them to sell, warning them:

‘Don’t waste your energy. In this moment it’s about transfers and I’ve nothing to say. I cannot talk about this just because a Barcelona guy starts talking.’

There are reports out of France that Dembele has already agreed personal terms with Barca, and L’Equipe reports that Barca’s next step is to contact Dortmund over a fee.

But according to Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke it will be a short conversation as he says that no amount of money would persuade Dortmund to do business — not even a mooted €100m transfer.

“In every case, [the transfer fee is] not enough,” Watzke told Eurosport during its coverage of the German Super Cup.

Dortmund went even further on Sunday night issuing a statement that read:

“We confirm that Dembélé will not leave Borussia Dortmund this season.”

The easiest deal to complete is the one for Real Sociedad centre back Martinez. The 26-year-old, who has been capped four times by Spain, made 34 La Liga appearances last season.

He is under contract with Sociedad until the end of the 2020/21 season but could well be on his way to the Nou Camp between now and the end of the window.