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Why Neymar’s transfer may not happen - and why it might

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This one’s complicated.

Brazil Press Conference & Training Session - Granja Comary Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

The dream - or nightmarish, depending on who you ask - return of Neymar to FC Barcelona is on the table, but will it come to pass? There’s good reason to think it might not.

For one, Neymar has no release clause and thus no set price. That means that Barça have to negotiate a deal with Paris Saint-Germain directly, and there is a terrible relationship between the two clubs. PSG could simply declare him not for sale or ask for a ridiculous price and be unwilling to negotiate. This is made worse by the fact that Ney is the second-best paid player in the world, so if Barça spend a lot of money on the transfer, the job is only half-done. We are talking about a huge investment here.

Another problem is how messy his exit was, with most fans fully turned against him, not to mention the club’s staff. However, he has maintained good relationships with the players, visiting them on occasion. And a recent, non-scientific Diario SPORT poll showed most fans would be willing to forgive Neymar, with 68% saying they would swap him for Ousmane Dembélé. However, the fact that there are still legal battles yet to be hashed out from that era between Neymar and the club surely is an obstacle as well.

Neymar’s relationship with the dressing room, knowledge of the club, and massive ability are the key reasons why his return is still possible. On top of that, many different sources have said that Ney regrets his move. With PSG failing to advance in the Champions League, no Ballon d’Or podium finishes for him, and the emergence of Kylian Mbappé as the leader of the group, it’s been a bitter disappointment for the Brazilian.

If he wants to force the move, he may be able to come back. But does Barça even want him anymore?