So Neymar has gone, and Barcelona must begin life without their talismanic Brazilian. No easy task of course, but Barcelona were a brilliant side before and will be brilliant again. No doubt.
The main question of course is: who will replace Neymar? Will Ernesto Valverde use a player already in the squad, or will the club spend big? Let’s have a look at the options.
Could Neymar’s departure be the opportunity of a lifetime for Gerard Deulofeu? Possibly, the club re-signed the winger earlier this summer and it looks like he will be given a chance to prove his worth.
Question marks remain over his consistency and his attitude, but he knows the club, is still only 23 and while he’s clearly not at Neymar’s level yet, it will be interesting to see how he fares.
Deulofeu is not the only player Valverde could turn to: Paco Alcacer, Denis Suarez, Rafinha and Arda Turan are all possible options, although all four have been linked with exits this summer.
Ousmane Dembele has long been linked with a move to Barcelona and indeed he has previously admitted it would be a dream to wear the Blaugrana.
The speculation has already ramped up and you can expect more of it in the coming days and weeks, particularly with Barca now cash rich.
However, speaking ahead of Borussia Dortmund’s Super Cup clash with Bayern Munich, coach Peter Bosz was confident he would not lose Dembele
"We are not worrying about Dembele going to Barcelona," he said. "If I had to worry about what could happen, I would not sleep well."
Currently Dembele appears one of the most likeliest options, although he prefers to play on the right, meaning if he does come in, Valverde will have to figure out where he will fit in.
Barca’s renewed interest in Philippe Coutinho initially appeared as though it might be to appease Neymar, but now it could well be that he may arrive to replace his compatriot.
Yet this is starting to look like yet another transfer battle Barcelona may lose. Coutinho only signed a new long-term deal earlier this year and Jurgen Klopp is adamant he will not sell his star man.
Rumors claim Liverpool have already rejected a £72m bid while Klopp told reporters during the club’s pre-season tour: “It’s nice that Coutinho is so highly rated but they [Barcelona] can save their energy.”
Josep Maria Bartomeu has promised big names, and Dybala would certainly fit that category and has previously claimed he would swim across the Mediterranean to join Barcelona.
He certainly would have impressed Barca last season, when he effectively put them out of the Champions League with two goals in their quarter-final clash.
However, like Dembele, he would not be a natural replacement for Neymar as he also prefers to play on the right. However, he would be the exciting and big-name talent that many fans are demanding.
Antoine Griezmann is another player who has been linked, but a move looks really difficult to pull off, this summer at least.
Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban means the club simply won’t sell for now, while Griezmann has already turned down a move to Manchester United.
Barcelona could return next year of course, but even then Griezmann won’t come cheap, and would probably prefer a more central role, than being played out wide on the left.
Kylian Mbappe is the hottest young prospect in Europe right now after a superb season last time out. Manchester City have been linked, although other rumors claim he has all but agreed a deal to Real Madrid.
Mbappe has been likened to Thierry Henry, and he has already broken plenty of the former Barcelona star’s records during his time at Monaco.
He also won’t come cheap, but that’s not a problem now for Barca, while snatching him from under los Blancos’ noses would also help lift spirits around the Camp Nou.
And last but definitely not least is Eden Hazard who, somewhat surprisingly, has not featured heavily in the gossip pages recently - perhaps as a result of his fractured ankle.
The Belgian should return in September, but he looks like a perfect replacement for Neymar out on the left, he was superb yet again for Chelsea last season, as they won the Premier League and looks a great fit for Barca.
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