Barcelona ‘closer’ to Neymar deal, club official says

In this file photo taken on August 3, 2019 Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar reacts at the end of the French Trophy of Champions football match between PSG and Rennes. (AFP)
Updated 27 August 2019

Barcelona ‘closer’ to Neymar deal, club official says

  • Bordas says “there is no deal yet” but “we are closer”
  • Neymar did not play with PSG at the weekend

BARCELONA: A Barcelona official involved in the negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain for Neymar says the Catalan club are “closer” to reaching a deal for the player’s return.

Javier Bordas told Spanish media Tuesday there is no agreement yet with PSG but negotiations are ongoing.

Bordas says “there is no deal yet” but “we are closer.”

Bordas was among the Barcelona representatives who traveled to Paris for talks with PSG officials on Tuesday.

Neymar did not play with PSG at the weekend.

The Brazilian forward became the most expensive player in the world when he moved from Barcelona to PSG for €222 million (about $250 million) in 2017.

His two seasons with the French champions were disappointing compared to the club’s huge expectations.


India beats New Zealand in 2nd T20, leads 5-match series 2-0

Updated 18 min 47 sec ago

India beats New Zealand in 2nd T20, leads 5-match series 2-0

AUCKLAND, New Zealand: K.L. Rahul made an unbeaten 57 Sunday to steer India to a seven-wicket win over New Zealand in the second Twenty20 international and to a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
Rahul and Shreyas Iyer put on 86 for the third wicket as India cruised past New Zealand’s total of 132-5 with 2.3 overs to spare. Shivam Dube (13 not out) hit a six from the bowling of Tim Southeein in the 18th over to lift India to 135-3.
Iyer made 58 not out and Rahul 56 as India beat New Zealand by six wickets with an over to spare in the first match of the series.
New Zealand made 203-5 batting first in that match but on Sunday, on the same pitch, it struggled to achieve any real momentum. During the second match the pitch played much slower and India bowled expertly to restrict New Zealand’s total.
Martin Guptill made 33 in a 48-run opening partnership with Colin Munro and Tim Seifert made an unbeaten 33 at the end of the innings but New Zealand wasn’t able to reach a total that could stretch India’s deep batting lineup.
Rohit Sharma (8) and captain Virat Kohli (11) were out relatively cheaply but Rahul and Iyer (44) sped India toward a comprehensive victory.
Dube came to the crease shortly before the end and quickly brought the match to a conclusion.
“I think we backed up the first match with a very good performance today, especially with the ball,” Kohli said. “We demanded that the bowlers stood up and took control of what we wanted to do out there.
“I think our line and length and the way we wanted to bowl on that wicket, sticking to one side of the wicket and being shorter was a very good feature of us as a team and helped us restrict a very good New Zealand team.”
New Zealand’s total was inadequate, even on a slower pitch, and India almost toyed with the home side as it made its way to a comfortable win.
New Zealand named the same team that lost the first match of the series and batted after winning the toss, just as it batted when it was outplayed in the first match of the series.
The match raised further questions about the coaching and captaincy of the New Zealand team after its humiliating test series loss in Australia last month. New Zealand showed again Sunday it hasn’t the talent to compete with the best teams in the world.
“As a batting unit we probably needed another 15 or 20 to make that total more competitive,” said New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. “But credit to the way the India side bowled, they’re a class side in all departments and they put us under pressure throughout that middle period.”