The Neymar saga was arguably the biggest story of the summer transfer window, and it was a shock when we saw that things weren’t going to change for Neymar, Barcelona or Paris Saint-Germain. The Brazilian star remained with the French side, hoping to make his return to Catalonia next year.
If that was shocking for us, it was worse for the player, who allegedly cried when he was finally told that a transfer back to former club Barcelona would not be possible this summer. After joining PSG back in 2017 for a world record €222 million, Ney was heavily linked with a move back to Catalonia, with people expecting him to make the move until the very end of the transfer window.
According to El Chiringuito, Barcelona contacted the 27-year-old on 31 August to inform him the move wasn’t going through. Neymar is said to have reacted with ‘anger and frustration’ because he was set to return to the Camp Nou, believing that PSG would accept the offer.
The biggest factor for this move to not come through was the huge fee PSG asked Barcelona to pay. The Blaugrana weren’t precisely interested in disbursing a huge amount of money to land Neymar and intended to ease negotiations with players-plus-cash offers.
Guillem Balague of BBC Sports notes that PSG had decided they wanted Jean-Clair Todibo, Ivan Rakitic, and Ousmane Dembele, but in the end, only Todibo and Rakitic agreed, and both are said to have been reluctant.
Neymar was also reported to have offered to put forward €20 million of his own pocket to help make the transfer happen. Mundo Deportivo claims that PSG rejected this idea, insisting that all of the money in their final ‘€150m plus Todibo, Rakitic and Dembele’ proposal had to come from Barcelona and nobody else.
Balague goes further on this point, claiming that such an arrangement is not allowed by the French Football Federation, which explains why PSG said no.
Perhaps next year we’ll have the chance to see Neymar making his long-awaited return to Catalonia after a tumultuous couple of seasons since he joined Les Parisiens. The player and his former club are currently suing each other, so it will be interesting to see how that’s solved if they want to be back together.