Neymar’s ‘no’ to the Real Madrid move could be key in Barça’s own pursuit of the player. SPORT told you last week that Neymar wants to amend his relationship with his former club, led by Josep Maria Bartomeu, and apologise for the way he left the Camp Nou.
Ahead of the transfer window getting in full swing, both Neymar and Barcelona are putting the ground work in place. The agreement between the two parties is that first, PSG must be willing to sell Neymar otherwise it’s pointless making a move. And secondly that should the door be opened for an exit, Neymar won’t try to get other teams interested in order to bump up the price – and his prospective wages.
Turning down a move to Madrid is definitely a step in the right direction. If PSG decide they want to free up a large chunk of their wage budget by moving on Neymar, Barça will show their hand. The idea is to not waste time on a deal if there’s no chance of it happening. PSG hold the power here and if they don’t make the first move, Barça will remain patient and look elsewhere.
It’s the third time Neymar has said ‘no’ to Florentino after previously turning down advances in 2011 and 2013. This will also earn him more respect amongst the Barça fan base who are still unhappy about the way he left the club.
Neymar has the backing of the dressing room and the majority of supporters would welcome him back
Whatever happens, Barça know a move for Neymar will be long and complex. The key behind all this is how PSG react to Barça’s interest. From there, it could get very interesting.