When Neymar Jr. failed to sign for FC Barcelona last summer, there was a mixture of surprise and certainty about the whole thing. After all, when Barcelona – who are known to be pretty close to exceeding their sporting budget – complete the signing of Antoine Griezmann earlier in the summer, it must leave less money in the bank to complete a major signing like Neymar would be.
And now it looks like, with COVID-19 crushing the economic freedom of clubs, that we could see a pretty steep change in how they do business. Reports are coming out that Barcelona won’t be able to finish the signing of Neymar this summer, which could push the player out of their reach for the long-term. Having once been a darling of the Nou Camp, a return has been on the cards ever since he left in the first place.
However, the ‘mistake’ of signing Griezmann looks to have left the club without the means to pull off the signing this summer. It’s a massive blow for the club, which has seen an already rocky financial picture put further out of kilter by the COVID-19 outbreak. Like many clubs, Barcelona will have to shelve some of their most ambitious plans for the summer of 2020.
With Griezmann having struggled to make any kind of major impression at Barcelona, at least consistently, he’ll continue to be seen as a ‘mistake’ if it stops them from affording their number one priority since the day he left.