Barcelona fans who have been hoping to bring back Neymar Jr. will be disappointed to learn that the club won't try to re-sign him this summer. According to Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, it is simply "unfeasible" to sign such an expensive talent during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The current economic climate makes it impractical for the Catalan giants to re-sign the Paris-Saint Germain forward. Neymar's return to Barcelona has been the subject of speculations for the past year. However, the deal always fell through for one reason or another. Bids made by other clubs were also ultimately rejected by the Ligue 1 champions.
Fans were hoping for the Brazilian's eventual comeback but the current situation has made it even further from reality. In an interview with Spanish publication Sport, Bartomeu said that FC Barcelona earned 200m euros less than they expected since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. He says that the effects of the losses will be felt for several more years.
"If the situation of the pandemic doesn't improve, there will be no spectators, no museum, no stores open, and money will continue to be lost," he said.
Spain is one of the hardest hit countries in Europe, with a fresh wave of infections currently being reported. The recently concluded Spanish La Liga season was played behind closed doors and it is expected to stay that way for 2020-21. The massive loss of gate revenue has affected even the richest clubs.
Bartomeu also revealed that PSG is not interested in selling the Brazilian star. In this situation, the club will need to rely on their existing roster because a massive investment on a blockbuster signing is not possible.
The current strategy will be to rely on the squad's current stars and develop new ones from within the ranks. "They are the best. They play very well, they train well, they try hard and they have ambition. The best thing is to combine experience with youth. They keep the ambition intact and the desire to win alive," said Bartomeu, as he spoke about the current Barcelona squad.