Not long now until the transfer merry-go-round spins in earnest.
In fact, the rumours are already in full swing and there’s still the best part of three months until the window opens again!
As clubs across Europe go looking for bargains, there are one or two that need to make a statement signing to send shivers down their opponent’s spines.Barcelona happen to be one of those clubs.
They’re consistently being written off now as also rans. Yesterday’s men. Living off of the glories of almost 10 years ago.
Clearly, that narrative needs to change, and in order to do that, the club need to find a way to get enough cash together for a real big name.
One who is again being touted, just as he has been for the last few windows, is Neymar.
The Brazilian seems to be closer than ever to the Paris Saint-Germain exit door, and with the likes of Lionel Messi admitting in the media that he wants to see his former team-mate return, the pressure is on the hierarchy to deliver.
However, seeing him back in the Blaugrana is as an unlikely scenario as there’s possible to be.
For a start, per the terms of Neymar’s contract, the cheapest that Barca could sign him for in the summer is €180m. Then there is his not insignificant salary on top of that.
The Catalans simply don’t have that sort of money, and even if they were to sell the likes of Philippe Coutinho, there still wouldn’t be enough in the pot to cover the outlay on Neymar, whatever the board would have you believe.
Then we have to factor in that the player is again making moves to sue his former employers again. The third time he has done so since leaving the Camp Nou.
For all of his footballing talent, such incendiary actions cannot be ignored, purely for the sake of on-pitch harmony.
What message would it send to potential new team-mates if a player that has threatened to sue their employers on three separate occasions is allowed to just walk straight back into the side?
Fans remain divided on whether he should be allowed to return too.
Whilst most accept that he will provide an upgrade to what Barcelona already have in that position, and a resumption of MSN could well herald a new, successful, dawn for the Catalans, they don’t want the baggage that comes with him.
The parties, the injuries, the extra-curricular activities that grab more headlines than his football.
For any number of those reasons, seeing Neymar in the Barcelona shirt again is highly unlikely.