You couldn’t exactly fault this summer’s transfer window for entertainment, that’s for sure.
A lot of thanks should be aimed in the direction of Neymar who instigated one of the most astonishing transfers in recent memory in seeking a Barcelona exit.
Furthermore, Paris Saint-Germain just happened to be crazy enough to foot the Brazilian’s buy-out clause and make the move happen. With £198 million proving the final fee, the transfer world record wasn’t just broken but doubled.
Over a month on from the ink drying on the contract and Neymar is lapping up life at the Parc des Princes. The 25-year-old already has five goals and as many assists in six appearances.
It’s easy to forget just how messy his move was and it certainly wasn’t a simple process.
The very day that Neymar was confirmed as a PSG player, Barcelona and La Liga plotted a last-ditch intervention on grounds of UEFA Financial Fair Play. That’s not to mention agent fees, loyalty bonuses and training ground bust-ups.
So in many ways, fans and pundits were relieved when the saga finally came to a close. Barcelona certainly weren’t, however, with the confirmation sparking their late window scramble for the likes of Philippe Coutinho.
And unsurprisingly, Blaugrana put up an incredible fight to ensure they need not have bothered.
Josep Maria Bartomeu – Barcelona’s President – has been hammered with criticism in the early season as well as being subject to a number of petitions of no confidence. He also played a key role in the Neymar transfer.
The 54-year-old has even offered an insight into the saga and where exactly it went wrong for the Catalans. It seems the answer lies in Neymar’s honesty and it’s difference to high profile exits in the past.
Speaking to La2, Bartomeu lamented: "We believed them [Neymar and his advisors] too much.
"When a player wants to leave he must be honest, as Alexis [Sanchez], Pedro or Cesc [Fabregas] did. We will not hurt a player that is not happy."
If the Barça president is to be believed, Neymar would have made the situation far more amicable if he conceded his want-away ambitions. The air of ambiguity only seemed to blow proceedings out of proportion.
It’s fair to say the Sanchez, Pedro and Fabregas moves were far more straightforward, even if they weren’t as high profile.
Bartomeu’s painful reminiscing certainly won’t be aided by Ousmane Dembele’s recent injury with the heir to Neymar’s throne out for four months. So far, Neymar’s the one laughing.
Do you think Neymar was right to move to PSG this summer? Have your say in the comments section below.
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