Neymar to Barcelona: Inside story of PSG striker’s summer transfer saga
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From Guillem Balague
Spanish soccer expert
After months of bluster, discussion, posturing, claim and counter-claim we now have - for the time being reached the road's end. Neymar will be staying in Paris St-Germain.
As the dust settles it might be worth noting that the individual surprised with this will be the PSG forward himself , despite pushing to get a movement for weeks, feared by day one this summer that it was a deal always destined to fail.
The requirement for the effective outcome of any sales transaction - be it for a lawn of elastic or a billionaire footballer with ability off - is a buyer or an seller, or rather both.
On this occasion, however, Barcelona believed the champions never wanted to sell and PSG thought the Spanish giants never ever wished to purchase.
This is the mutual mistrust that underscored the negotiations from the start. Even by the brain-achingly, conspiratorial and elaborate complicated minefield that is football transfer discussions, it was definitely going to be a uniquely unwieldy deal.
How did we get here?
In April, the 27-year-old Brazilian - that proceeded from Barcelona for a world record #200m at August 2017 - started discussions to renew his PSG contract.
Unfortunately, there were a range of little"issues" making him miserable : promises PSG weren't satisfying, boos from a number of those fans, a spat with fellow forward Edinson Cavani as to who ought to take penalties, internal divisions within the camp, a feel the Ultra lovers were keener on Cavani than himand the feeling he was not being given sufficient protection by referees.
In January, three fouls in quick succession by Strasbourg's Anthony Goncalves - each one of that communicates - left Neymar together with all the foot injury that kept him out. He wasn't impressed.
Despite boasting one of the world squads, some players exist at a gilded cage in PSG, and also a febrile atmosphere was created by too little competition in a weak Ligue 1 within the camp.
Neymar enjoys Paris - who wouldn't? - and was negotiating a new contract even though his misgivings and despite flirting for a while with a return to the Nou Camp. But then something happened soon after Barcelona lost to Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals in May.
The captains of both Barcelona - Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto and Luis Suarez - was told by president Josep Maria Bartomeu that not only would the club attempt to get Neymar, but in addition that he had been confident the player would come back.
Neymar was advised by players he communicates with often (Messi, Pique and Suarez) that the deal could occur and that he had been needed when Barcelona were to recover that the Champions League. It got under the Brazilian's own skin because he was not totally convinced by his own choice.
Messi, 32implied - given his age - Neymar could develop into the Barcelona universe's middle in a few years.
So it began.
Now, senior Barcelona players have been informed the club had not signed forward Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid - however their La Liga rivals had openly said they had seen records confirming the deal was agreed back in March.
The difficulty was that everyone in the camp of Neymar believed Barcelona didn't possess the money - especially when, as they guessed, Griezmann had been a lot.
Barca had to take a unsecured loan for 35m euros (Number 31.6m) from
banks to bring in the France international, therefore one can just imagine the fiscal consequences the buy of Neymar would have needed for the club.
PSG sporting director Leonardo, that returned to the club at June, muddied the waters with comments about the Brazilian in front of everyone else, to the stage where Neymar ceased talking to him.
Leonardo realised too late he had grabbed the line and backtracked by beginning the strategy of confusion and playing with the participant's praises he has used over the previous four weeks.
From the beginning, Barcelona believed that the PSG official said the participant while simultaneously following instructions from the club's owners and one thing to them who Neymar should not be allowed to leave under some conditions.
On Neymar, it dawned with no written offer in Barcelona forthcoming the move was not likely to take place, so that he met club officials before the first match of the season and consented to playwith. Prior to the game, Leonardo asked him to issue a statement he no longer wished to leave the day. Neymar baulked at the thought, telling PSG although he was ready to play wasn't about to begin making statements that are public.
That is not surprising. Messages were seeping from Barcelona out of his former team-mates telling him to hang in there because it was going to happen.
In reality, Barcelona desired to demonstrate to everyone just how dedicated they were to performing the offer. The Catalan club insist the leaking of details of a visit to Paris of the decision manufacturers (although maybe not Bartomeu) eight weeks back was not of their doing - however it didn't damage them since it revealed them trying hard.
The bottom line was this: if Barcelona desired Neymar it was going to charge them 215m euros (#194m). The team told PSG that players would have to be contained.
Eventually, on 27 August, Barcelona filed the only written deal they ever made - 115m euros (#107m) in money, 15m euros (#13.5m) in bonuses and three gamers.
PSG determined they needed to become defender Jean-Clair Todibo, midfielder Ivan Rakitic (and reluctantly consented to move), plus forward Ousmane Dembele on loan, although the latter swiftly said:"Non merci."
France international Dembele was not likely to move. At one point, intermediaries believed they may have the ability to change his thoughts, and also the player spoke to PSG boss Thomas Tuchel on four occasions, but the French team really pushed the matter with the 22-year-old or tried to talk terms - that again suggested to Barcelona they were not that interested in doing the deal.
Talks continued. PSG started to um and ah about the make-up of the 15m euros in add-ons - but when that has been agreed, they said they desired 150m euros (#135m) up front instead of 130m euros plus bonuses.
Neymar's response in a letter to the team has been : no issue. The Brazilian has been prepared to pay the shortfall in five obligations of euros. But a few minutes after his message came, he was told by PSG the French Football Federation did not let players to make payments.
Real Madrid - who in the end said they weren't really curious - had stuck on their heads above the parapet and produced an offer of 100m euros and James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale and Keylor Navas. A look at the salary of Bale had been enough to put an end along with the Wales wasn't likely to proceed anyway. In truth, PSG consistently felt Real wished to get Neymar about the cheap when getting rid of afew of their very own squad, and give their fans when you get one who feeling of schadenfreude which comes.
Italian champions Juventus entered the fray, offering 100m euros and forward Paulo Dybala - a bid that was also rejected by PSG.
Regardless of more Premier League club created an approach, though Manchester United had inquired about the participant when he had been at Barcelona with a buyout plan of 190m euros (#172m). Neymar decided against the move.
In the long run,"Spain" was the answer Neymar gave when asked where he wished to proceed, suggesting he would not have minded visiting either of those La Liga giants. He wisely chose to not say Barcelona or nowhere, for the reason that when the agreement went wrong as indeed it eventually did - he would end up looking silly.
Did Barcelona want Neymar enough? It is well worth noting that when they needed to convince Frenkie de Jong to sign in Ajax, Bartomeu seen the Netherlands midfielder to finish the deal. At no point throughout the Neymar discussions did Bartomeu match his father, the player or PSG counterpart Nasser Al-Khelaifi. Additionally, among the original suggestions from Barcelona (not in written form) was Philippe Coutinho plus a money figurethat was instantly rejected by PSG to be"laughable".
It felt like Barca not put their weight all .
In lots of ways it was a win-win scenario for Bartomeu. It didn't happen, so that he can now shrug his shoulders and say"look, we attempted", and those who didn't want the return of a participant who has taken the club to court on two events are kept happy.
Had it occurred, regardless of the crippling financial burden for a club already estimated to become 600m euros (#543m) in debt, Barcelona believed they might have found a way around it. If they actually wanted that to be returned by Neymar is.
As well as needing to perform a great deal of technology to make it happen - like getting rid of two of their biggest earners - that the wage structure at the Nou Camp could have been a potential headache, because Barcelona are in the limit. No-one knew for sure whether La Liga could have sanctioned Neymar's signing, given the limits of fair play regulations that were fiscal.
Negotiations were going to be complicated by there without buyout exemptions in France. Interestingly, however Neymar will've been for three seasons at PSG and, according to Fifa regulations, can buy himself out of his contract following there is a commission decided by a tribunal.
If things don't go for Neymar, that may well be another step. It's not all doom and gloom that is going to resume today everything, and since he does a very least like a productive and respectful relationship with all PSG boss Tuchel.
The way the Barcelona players involved today react remains to be viewed.
For Struggling to facilitate the movement, will Dembele be cast? Will those told from the club feel about staying? How can the players who thought Neymar will be together to fortify them feel in his non-arrival? Will Barcelona return at a later date - now with all seriousness - for the Brazilian?
Time will tell.
The Capture: A conspiracy that is dramatic
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