The Barcelona squad and technical team landed back in their Spanish city at three o'clock on Monday morning following their pre-season trip to the USA and will get to work immediately with resolving the needs, and personnel, of the team.
Neymar missing from Barça flight
The Catalan side arrived home on the back of a successful International Champions Cup in the United States. Wins over Juventus, Manchester United and, most importantly, Real Madrid saw them lift the pre-season tournament trophy but one of their stars of the tour, was missing from the flight. Neymar Jr instead flew on a private jet to China to meet some promotional commitments after spending the night in Miami.
And while París Saint-Germain look to finally trigger the 222-million-euro release clause for the Brazilian, his current club are pushing forward with plans to replace him, not only to keep the team competitive at the very top of European competition but also to feed the appetite of their fans who have watched this saga unfold over the month.
PSG money to strengthen Barça
Barcelona will lose Neymar, but as a result will have a financial return they did not expect and can use that muscle to entice clubs to free up their own key players, likely by paying over their real value. One question though is if there will be a PSG player included as part of the Neymar deal with Di María, Matuidi, Lucas Moura and Draxler all potential make-weights.
Away from the Parisian club, two other players have been heavily linked with a move. The Brazilian pair of Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) and Paulinho (Guanzhou Evergrande) would offer very different attributes to the blaugrana side and talk of 100 million euros may be very difficult for The Reds to turn down for their attacking midfielder, especially if reports are to be believed that the player has already agreed personal terms with the Camp Nou club.
New-look Barça for next Clásico?
Everything points to this saga, certainly the initial Neymar element of it, being concluded this week. How the Barcelona team will line up against Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup first leg on August 13 is still far from clear.