One of the most senior ranking members of the FC Barcelona squad let Josep Maria Bartomeu know that signing Neymar was a must if they were to win the Champions League.
It was a belief shared by many others in the dressing room who all had their say as negotiations were ongoing with PSG.
Some of the players were even willing to part with their own money to help pay for the costly transfer, such was the desire to bring Neymar ‘home’.
The board didn’t take that offer under consideration, and some of the squad weren’t even aware of it, but it was done to demonstrate how well liked Neymar is by certain players in the changing room.
It’s extremely possible with the €20m Neymar was willing to put in, alongside that of the players, a deal could have been struck with PSG. However, the board only valued a transfer if it made sense on the financial side of things. Some board members called it “absolutely crazy” if they accepted all the demands.
So this gesture from certain squad members was dismissed.
However, not everyone was on board with the Brazilian’s return. There’s a danger of a rift developing between those on the side of Neymar and those who are firmly behind Griezmann. Right now, there aren’t any issues between the two parties but Lionel Messi, alongside his fellow captains, must ensure this doesn’t develop into anything serious.
In recent years the changing room has been a welcoming place, helped by a coach who is respected by everyone at the club and no one wants that to change.