Not too long ago, Barcelona’s Pep Segura made a simple statement that could be easily understood and with no room for misinterpretation.
Any player that leaves the club is not welcome back.
It was almost as if he was saying ‘if we weren’t good enough for you then, you’re not good enough for us now.’
An understandable point of view, particularly when it relates to one of the biggest names in world football.
Barca’s ego would’ve been well and truly bruised when Neymar left, however, quite unexpectedly that tone has begun to soften just recently.
Rumours linking the Brazilian with a move back to the Camp Nou haven’t been rebuffed by Segura or any board members.
Whilst it’s also true that no bids or any declarations of firm interest have been lodged with Paris Saint-Germain, the plain fact that a ‘no’ hasn’t been uttered is enough to give this story some legs.
Carles Alena is just the latest to suggest how much better off the Catalans would be with the world’s most expensive player back in their ranks.
It’s a courtship that’s hitting all the right notes on both sides, and with Real Madrid’s president, Florentino Perez, known to be a huge admirer of Neymar’s, it will be a massive blow to his pride if he’s unable to secure the signature of player Barca’s fans dubbed ‘the new Figo’ in the wake of his defection to Paris.
That’s as maybe, but for now it’s time to stop the talking.
Though Ousmane Dembele was never a Neymar ‘replacement’ as such, he is filling a slot on that side of the pitch.
Given his struggles in the role at present, surely it’s counter-productive to be talking about bringing the Brazilian back.
Especially as his fee, were a move ever truly on the cards, would need to be part-funded by money from a Dembele transfer away from the club. Hardly confidence building for the young Frenchman.
Furthermore, Jordi Alba was demonstrative in his pleasure that there was no barrier to him getting forward once Neymar had gone.
With the winger in situ, it forced Alba to sit and hold his left-back position, rather than bombing forward and supplementing the attack as he’s done on numerous occasions since.
At a time when Alba looks like he might just’ve played his way back into the national team, he’ll not want a club situation where he can’t show his best.
Neymar will cost at least the same as he was sold for if current numbers being bandied around are accurate, plus his astronomical wage demands are likely to be a problem.
That too should be a concern for a club who are nearing their maximum in terms of transfer and salary outlay.
So, let’s put this notion to bed once and for all.
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