The player himself is alleged to be incandescent with rage at PSG, whilst it’s also believed that Leo Messi, Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez, amongst others, are none too happy that the Brazilian wasn’t secured.
Though he was never promised by Josep Maria Bartomeu, just like with the De Ligt transfer, the president made noises to suggest that everything was on course for a positive resolution, without taking into account that PSG were always likely to turn down any offer that the Catalans made.
It’s true that when Neymar is on form, he is still in the top three best players in the world. There can be no doubts about that whatsoever.
It’s precisely for that reason that the senior players at Barcelona lobbied the club so extensively.
Whilst there can be no guarantee of success of course, a front line that includes Neymar is infinitely better than one that doesn’t - with the greatest respect to those already in situ.
However, the fact that he hasn’t been signed - for now at least - isn’t the disaster that many have suggested.
For a start, knowing that it’s a deal that the club wanted to do (and maybe still want to), will sharpen Ousmane Dembele’s focus.
When he wants to be, the Frenchman is absolutely deserving of a place up front.
What does the future look like for Ousmane Dembele? pic.twitter.com/1ro0YADUDW— Goal (@goal) August 27, 2019
But the issue, even now, is his professionalism. Something that it’s alleged that his team-mates are starting to call him out on.
If he knuckles down, then there’s simply no need to sign Neymar at any future point, but if he doesn’t, we can bid him farewell and good luck and bring in the Brazilian.
Either way it’s a win, win on that score.
The other issue that has been avoided at this point is sailing very close to the wind in FFP terms.
AS: Even with a €170m transfer fee & a salary reduction, the entire Neymar return operation will cost Barca another €500m! Currently they're already spending 62% if its budget of €960m on first team wages - €595m in total. FFP regulations set an upper limit of 70%. pic.twitter.com/zxmjh4Ux2u— Enock Kobina Essel (@EnockEssel7) August 28, 2019
Neymar’s hire this summer would’ve stretched the club to the limit. In a year’s time, things should be much more manageable, not to mention that the purchase price should’ve reduced by then too.
Ernesto Valverde has managed to dodge a bullet also. With too many huge egos in the dressing room, adding another to the mix might’ve made his lot even more difficult than it is already.
Supporters don’t need a reason to hate on the coach any more than they do, and a potentially unmanageable squad could’ve been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
In any event, none of it matters because the status quo is exactly the same as it’s been all summer long.
Move along, nothing to see here...