What Happens Next In The Neymar Saga?5 min read
It has to be one of the most tedious and drawn out transfer sagas of all time. A potential move to Barcelona didn’t make it over the line after all, despite rumours suggesting on at least two separate occasions that a deal for Neymar was ‘close.’
Weeks of column inches, thousands of words written, a multitude of opinions given… and the status quo remains as it has throughout this summer.
Real Madrid were never in the running, despite extensive coverage to the contrary, Paris Saint-Germain were never going to sell him, despite entering into serious negotiations with Barcelona, and the Catalans were never going to re-sign anyone that decided to leave the club, despite doing everything possible to get Neymar back through the Camp Nou front door.
It just goes to prove that anything and everything is possible where football is concerned.
But what next for all of the parties involved, how is this soap opera going to play out over the next few months?
With the player himself making it crystal clear that he wants to leave PSG, and with Barca his only destination, it’s in the French club’s interest to continue talking during the season, with a view to a winter or (more likely) summer move in 2020.
The Blaugrana need to get their house in order, sharpish. If players are to be moved on in order to make way for a homecoming of sorts, then begin the groundwork now, not at the 11th hour when there’s little time to do business or convince certain players that their futures are elsewhere.
One of those, Ousmane Dembele, has to prove his worth more than ever now.
Though he’s shown flashes of just how brilliant he can be, such high levels haven’t been sustained on a consistent enough basis.
If, as it’s been alleged, he wants to continue his career at Barcelona, then he has a few months to step up and convince any lingering doubters as to his suitability for a role at the club.
PSG will also do well to negotiate what’s expected to be a bumpy road ahead.
Apparently, club president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, has held talks with the head of the club’s fanatical ‘ultra’ group of supporters to ensure that the bad blood they’ve shown towards the player across the summer isn’t replicated during the season.
And it remains to be seen how his colleagues in France react to his return given just how out on a limb Neymar went to engineer a move away.
Expect this saga to be bubbling under the surface right the way up to the New Year, when a final resolution should be found. Or maybe not!
Listen to the latest episode of the Eye On LaLiga podcast with Oliver Wilson and Jason Pettigrove: Transfer Window Winners and Losers