by Tim Stannard
A resistant Rakitic and Dembele making Neymar return to Barcelona increasingly unlikely
Barcelona really are gluttons for punishment.
Two years after seeing PSG snatch one of the club's crown jewels from the Camp Nou, the Catalan club is coming up with plan after plan after plan to get the footballer back, but being rebuffed at every point.
The tick-tock transfer clock is counting down with Barcelona and PSG having to come up with some kind of deal by Monday night in Spain and France when the summer transfer window closes.
The latest attempt from Barcelona - cash and Ivan Rakitic and Ousmane Dembele (on loan) - failed to move the needle as the two footballers in question not unreasonably refused to move to Paris.
This means that Barcelona are going to have to considerably up the cash part of the deal to meet PSG's value, and that is going to be a problem for an institution that has already had a net spend of $114 million in the transfer market this summer.
Meanwhile, PSG are in Ligue Un action on Friday and will continue to play without Neymar. Speaking ahead of the match, Thomas Tuchel gave a pretty solid account of where we all are with Neymar - "anything could happen. Perhaps nothing will change."
PSG are away at Metz and are also without the injured Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is set to lead the line with Jese Rodriguez on the bench. That means that PSG could end the game with Stoke City's forward line from a couple of seasons ago. That game is live, live, live on beIN SPORTS with coverage beginning at 2:30PM ET / 11:30AM PT.
beIN SPORTS CONNECT and our Spanish service is offering up a fine double header of La Liga action starting at 2PM ET / 11AM PT and the current league leaders of Sevilla hosting Celta Vigo followed by the Basque derby between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad.
Solskjaer does not rule out Zlatan return as Icardi remains an outcast
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given a 'so there is a chance?' vibe to King Zlatan returning to Manchester United in January.
The Norwegian was speaking ahead of Saturday morning's away defeat to Southampton and responded to Zlatan's comments during week - that were walked back a little - that he would return to United if called.
"If he's serious, I'll always speak to Zlatan," claimed Ole, whose forward line is sparse to say the least. Solskjaer also confirmed the departure of Chris Smalling to Roma and suggested that Matteo Darmian will be leaving the club too.
Atletico Madrid and Monaco could be involved in a late tussle to sign Mauro Icardi, whose days look numbered at Inter if comments from former teammate, Radja Nainggolan are any indication.
"Someone in the dressing room hasn't forgiven his wife Wanda for comments she made," claimed the Belgian midfielder on Icardi's partner who is a regular on Italian sports TV. That probably explains the Argentinean's absence from the club's team dinner on Thursday.
The Sports Burst live show will pour through all this and a lot more. Just head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page at 12PM ET / 9AM PT.
Coco Gauff continues US Open run as basketball World Cup gets into gear
The rise and rise of Coco Gauff continues.
The US breakthrough star from Wimbledon is showing that the run to the Round of 16 in England was no fluke after the 15-year-old defeated Timea Babos in three sets on Thursday night to set up a third-round clash with reigning champion, Naomi Osaka, on Saturday.
Coco!................... Gauff— James Harden (@JHarden13) August 30, 2019
Serena Williams will be playing her third round clash today in a match-up against Karolina Muchova. Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal will be in action on Friday in the men's bracket.
Coming up later this weekend in the wide, wide world of sport and Formula 1 returns with the Belgian Grand Prix and Lewis Hamilton still leading the way in the standings.
And to the apparent interest of almost no-one, basketball's FIBA World Cup gets underway on Saturday in China. Despite offering a squad lacking NBA star-power to say the least, Team USA lead by Gregg Popovich is expected to win a third tournament in a row.