Barcelona, despite spending 400 million euros, have not found a replacement for Neymar. None of Ousmane Dembele (105 million euros plus 40 million in add-ons) Philippe Coutinho (120 million plus 40 million in add-ons) or Antoine Griezmann (120 million) have helped the club move on from the Brazilian.
With every day that passes, the yearning for Neymar's magic grows. Among the fans. And, above all, among his former teammates in the dressing room. For that reason, Josep Maria Bartomeu seems determined to try once again to bring him back to Camp Nou in the summer. Although, this time, with more guarantees than last year, when he wanted to make one of football's biggest ever signings without any money...
The same people that have spent 400 million in trying to find Neymar's heir without any joy are the same people that are now trying to find a substitute for Dembele, just weeks after failing to bring in a replacement for Suarez. With a major caveat: this time, with the transfer window shut, they can only sign someone already in Spain or without a club.
What has not changed is the club's financial situation. There's not much money available. Well, a maximum of 10 million to pay Getafe striker Angel Rodriguez's release clause (the best-placed candidate at the moment but not the only one). That, of course, presuming the club are granted permission to sign by a team of medical records... which is not clear at all.
Having faith that Barça will get the signing right of a forward that will play a maximum of 14 games seems complicated, if not impossible. The precedents don't scream optimism. For that reason, there are those that question (even internally) if it would not be more intelligent to forget making such a complicated, dangerous and desperate signing. The remedy could end up being worse than the illness.