Neymar’s transfer to Barcelona now looks like an impossible fantasy

Neymar might not return to Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain after the most recent developments surrounding the Brazilian.

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman is close to making two signings in the transfer market. The manager has asked the club to pursue two of his compatriots, Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay, and a deal for the duo seems on the cards. However, the club’s two biggest motives remain constant even in the midst of a pandemic.

First, they want to tie Lionel Messi down to a fresh deal at the Camp Nou. The Argentina international publicly displayed his resentment at the club in a recent interview, but his renewal may be an achievable prospect given that Josep Maria Bartomeu will not stay as the Barcelona president beyond 2021.

Second, the club would like to sanction a move for Neymar. The Paris Saint-Germain ace has been linked with a return to Spain in recent months, but the Catalans have encountered financial difficulties in their bid of landing him for a second time. The likes of Joan Laporta and Victor Font have already set sights on the Brazilian if they are elected as president.

However, despite the ambitions, it may now seem unlikely that he returns to Barcelona. Neymar recently signed a sponsorship deal with Puma, thereby breaking a 15-year long association with Nike. The American sporting brand was itself keen on helping the cause of transferring Neymar to Barca, due to their appeal to the general public over PSG.

In addition to marketing reasons, the player now seems like a happy man at Paris after finally seeming to have settled in and gotten into the good books of all the fans. With Kylian Mbappe likely to make a switch to Real Madrid next summer, there is a high chance that he becomes the talisman and sole focus of limelight at the Parc des Princes.

One of Neymar’s major reasons of wanting to leave Barcelona was to be the solitary torchbearer of attention. He had to do that with Lionel Messi in La Liga and was even outshone by Mbappe in France in his first years, but if the player departs then there may well be no competition for the 28-year-old in front of the media and supporters.

Do you think the next board presiding over Barcelona will be able to sanction an extension to Messi’s contract and return for Neymar?