Neymar’s hopes of returning to Barcelona have not completely died but a deal will only happen if Paris Saint-Germain accept Barcelona’s terms of ‘no cash – only players’.
The Catalan club’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu admitted on Sunday: ‘There are still some weeks to go and there could still be one more new signing.’
Bartomeu was speaking after the club confirmed the signing of Junior Firpo from Betis to cover Jordi Alba at left-back.
But if Barcelona are to move for their former player, PSG will have to change their current stance of only accepting money for the Brazilian forward.
Barcelona cannot afford Neymar and have an excessively big squad that needs trimming so they will only do a deal with PSG if they accept players in return.
There is no clamour for Neymar’s signing in Barcelona with most fans against the idea but Bartomeu wants another Champions League and believes going into the new season with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann AND Neymar would give him a better chance of doing that.
But the transfer will only happen if Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho leave the club to make room in the dressing room and on the wage bill.
Barcelona could also allow Ivan Rakitic to be used as part of the deal although coach Ernesto Valverde does not want to lose the Croatian.
With both the French and Spanish transfer windows staying open until the start of September there is likely to be no definitive conclusion until the end of August.
Both clubs know that if things are left to the last minute without the time to hammer out what will be a complicated deal they could use a one-year loan to get things over the line before September 2.