Barcelona were unable to secure the signing of Neymar because Paris Saint-Germain refused to budge on their valuation of the player.
The Spanish Champions were so desperate to bring the Brazilian back to the Camp Nou that apart from offering cash, they were ready to offer the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Jean-Clair Todibo and Ousmanne Dembele as makeweights in the deal.
As for Neymar, the 27-year-old was so keen on the move that he failed to report for the first week of pre-season training, ostensibly to force his employers to sanction the move.
Furthermore, with major Spanish outlets drip-feeding the Barcelona faithful with the news of the “imminent” arrival of Neymar, it seemed only a matter of time before the Brazilian could rejoin his former Barcelona teammates.
However, now that the European transfer window has ended, Neymar is set to stay at the Parc des Princes for at least six more months should Barcelona again come calling for him in the January transfer window.
Why Neymar to Barcelona transfer didn't happen
As sources closed to the club confirm, two major issues torpedoed any chances of Neymar returning to play for Barcelona.
The first of those issues related to PSG's valuation of the player. After paying $242m to bring Neymar to France only a couple of years earlier, the French Champions were determined to get a major portion of that money back. Only then, as sources close to the club confirm, would the Qatar-owned owners would sanction the move.
However, while it was a huge roadblock in the Neymar to Barcelona move, PSG's valuation of the Brazilian isn't the only reason why Neymar would come back from international duty to play for the French and not the Spanish champions.
Ousmanne Dembele, one of the three players which Barcelona wanted to offer to PSG in return for Neymar, never had his heart set on a move to the French capital. Despite the club hierarchy repeatedly trying to convince the French winger to consider the merits of a move to PSG, Dembele was adamant on prolonging his stay in Barcelona.
To indicate his desire of staying at Barcelona, Dembele's agent went public stating that his client was staying “100 percent”. Ironically, this statement came at a time when Barcelona executive director Javier Bordas was telling the journalists that the club was moving “closer” to bring back Neymar to Barcelona.
Although Neymar is a PSG player for now, Barcelona are already plotting a deal to bring the Brazilian back to the Camp Nou in the 2020 summer transfer window.
According to a Spanish news outlet, Barcelona might try and exploit a clause in his contract which might force PSG to sell Barcelona for $180m, a price which the Catalans feel they could afford to pay next season.
Provided PSG don't allow Neymar to leave next summer, the striker could appeal to FIFA. Since he had completed three years of his deal with PSG by then – which is the period of protection for contract – it won't be PSG but FIFA which might determine the price of the player.
That fee, Barcelona hope, would be in the region of $180m. And since Barcelona haven't plan a major transfer outlay for next season – unlike this year when they had already spent heavily on Griezmann – the Catalans would be in a much better financial position to pay for the transfer that would bring back Neymar to Barcelona.
Consequently, while the saga of Neymar to Barcelona has ended for now, nobody should bet against it rearing its head in the 2020 summer transfer window.
Ligalive Infographics: Player Profile; Premier League Season 2018/19