The transfer saga of the summer just keeps on giving.
Rarely can there have been so many column inches devoted to one player across the course of one transfer window.
But that’s exactly what’s happening with Neymar.
At the time of writing, the Paris Saint-Germain player is still no closer to knowing where he will be plying his trade next season.It’s been known for some while, and in the past 48 hours it’s been reiterated, that the Brazilian wants to return to Barcelona.
There have even been suggestions that he’s been back in contact with the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and the other Blaugrana players that are in a private Whatsapp group.
What appears to have transpired from those conversations is that the offer from Barcelona has been nowhere close to the valuation that PSG have put on their player.
Not to mention that the French club would much rather deal with anyone other than the Catalans.
Such a stand off brings the possibility of Neymar signing for Real Madrid closer than ever.
Though the likelihood of him staying at PSG isn’t out of the question, particularly if Barcelona can absolutely guarantee a January move as opposed to now, it’s unlikely.
Bridges have been burned with the Parisiens, and it’s hard to see how he has any future there.
Supporters have been burning his shirt, and have brought banners to games making it clear that he is no longer welcome.
Despite all of the baggage that comes with him, when he’s on form Neymar is still in the top three players in the world.
It’s for that reason that Messi et al want him to return, because they know that with Neymar in situ, they’ve a much better chance of winning the Champions League again.
By the time of next years final, it will have been five long years since their last triumph, with Neymar playing the fullest part.
There are wider issues, in that there will be an obvious impact elsewhere in the squad, and perhaps that’s why Barcelona have been reticent to meet PSG’s asking price to this point.
However, any more prevaricating and Real Madrid will pounce.
Their offer is already better than that which Barça have made, and although PSG have still turned that down, Los Blancos appear to have more financial leeway and can go that extra mile.
Frankly, Barcelona can’t allow that to happen, and it’s at this point that president Josep Maria Bartomeu must follow through on his promise to go ‘all out’ to get the player back in the fold.