In a late night interview with Barca TV, FC Barcelona club president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, finally had his say on the Neymar saga.
The soap opera of this summer dragged on for the final two months of the window, and eventually the Brazilian was unable to rejoin the Blaugrana.
Right up until the deadline, rumour and counter rumour kept everyone guessing, but it appears that much of what was written was inaccurate.“Barcelona never offered players for Neymar, it was PSG that asked for them,” Bartomeu responded when asked.
“We did everything possible to sign him, and it’s a fact that Neymar asked PSG to negotiate only with Barcelona.
“The signing wasn’t easy, on a economic or social level, but [Lionel] Messi didn’t tell me to sign Neymar, that’s a myth. The players don’t have a say in signings, it’s the sporting department, technical department and the directors who decide.”
With the move not taking place this summer, media outlets were quick to suggest that it would happen in January, but that’s been ruled out too.
“He’s not in the plans for January,” Bartomeu confirmed.
Nothing, however, was confirmed or denied as to whether the club would go after him next summer, but 12 months is a long time in football and anything can change.
The likelihood of him staying in Paris beyond that date is negligible, but it remains an option nonetheless.
By that point, Real Madrid will be ready to regenerate their squad again, and despite a reticence to move there by Neymar, you can never say never in football.
The fact remains that if Barca want him, they’ve still got to shift a good number of players in order to make way for his salary demands, not to mention his starting status in the team.
It will always be a difficult deal to construct, but not impossible if all sides are willing.
PSG have already showed their hand by entering into negotiations with the Catalans, albeit unsuccessfully.
Barca too, would appear to be ready to welcome Neymar back – but not at any price.
The player has repaired the relationships he damaged when leaving the club in the first place, so there is at least a definitive start point for negotiations to recommence.
Bartomeu will inadvertently have the media – local and otherwise – seething after his revelations mind you.
Many of them rely on the constant ‘tittle tattle’ to sell papers and column inches, but in one foul swoop, the president has taken their bread and butter away.