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Neymar Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Barcelona has ruled out the signing of Brazilian superstar Neymar, while showing a tilt towards Inter striker Lautaro Martinez instead, during the current transfer window.

Neymar has been trying his level best to make his way back Camp Nou since joining Paris St-Germain less than three years back for a world record fee of 222 million euros.

Neymar’s five-year contract with PSG – worth $350 million in salary - runs through June 2022.

It is now common knowledge that Barcelona last year assured Neymar that they would either re-sign him last summer or in the current transfer window (that runs until early August, but may change due to the coronavirus pandemic). The move was seen more as a deterrent to arch-rivals Real Madrid from trying to sign the 28-year-old Brazilian, last year.

Neymar has so far scored 47 goals in his 52 appearances at PSG, while he had netted 68 times in his 123 appearances at Barcelona between 2013 and 2017. Now nearly a year on, Barcelona are hesitant at having Neymar’s services back as per reports circulating in various European media. One of the main reasons is that the pandemic is bound to have a significant economic impact, not just on the club, but on all sports and sporting events as well.

However, the Catalans still need reinforcements upfront alongside Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Antoine Grizmann, who is also rumoured to be in the process of leaving. One of the names making the news is Inter Milan’s Martinez, as he is being looked upon as a more affordable alternative.

As per Fifa’s stipulation, the transfer window must be open for 12 weeks. So as per the current existing scenario, the window will open around May 17, shortly after the final round of matches of the season, on May 13. Clubs will be able to sell players until August 31 but not buy replacements after the deadline of August 9.