If there is one signing that really draws cohesion from the dressing room, the coaching staff and the sporting department, it is that of Neymar. Barcelona had decided to go for him this summer, but the coronavirus pandemic has put the brakes on and made it a difficult operation.
The issue has cooled, but the squad want his return above anything else and the coach, Quique Setien, opened the door to a move this week by suggesting he would be a great addition. The pressure is huge and Barça must make a decision on whether they go all out for Neymar or wait a few months for his relationship with Paris Saint-Germain to deteriorate even further.
Barça's planning is more than clear. The sporting department have prioritized the arrival of a central forward and are close to Inter's Lautaro Martinez. With him, midfielder Miralem Pjanic could arrive two. These two signings have been prioritized to beat the possible competition.
The big investment will be made on Lautaro. Barça aren't going to spend 111 million euros and are working on bringing the fee down but it's obvious they will have to get close to 60 million even with including players. That could be paid in installments. In principle, that will be all the cash available for the summer, as the reduction in revenue has been brutal due to the pandemic and there's little room to invest.
From there, the club will work on as many sales as possible. Barça need to bring in close to 100 million euros before June 30 and they are focused on that.
Neymar seems to have been forgotten in recent weeks. The interest has cooled because the financial demands are so high -- to pay for him and pay his wages, however bigger cut he will take. Another thing is that the club know he could be key in winning another Champions League and that the players want him. Setien opened the possibility again, and the reality is the club continue to look at the numbers to make it possible.
It would only be do-able with a swap deal. Barça know PSG will be open to moving on the Brazilian this time. And there are clear indicators that various players could be of interest to them. The Catalans feel a deal is much more likely than it was last summer.
Barça don't want to move now because the names involved could be important when football returns. The idea is to wait until the end of July. There's a huge internal debate about the deal and a lot of pressure. Nothing is decided. Neymar's return is alive in the offices and could be activated at any moment.
Proof of that is the constant communication with the Neymar family. They all feel a move would be best for all parties. Before the coronavirus crisis, Lautaro and Neymar were on the table. The club are convinced they could play together and there would be enough rotating to keep everyone happy. Neymar's not been ruled out, not at all.