According to Balague, Barcelona were convinced that Financial Fair Play would stop PSG signing prized asset Neymar. The Spanish giants, however, were in the dark over how advanced negotiations were between the player and French club.
The world-record transfer saga has proved to be a huge setback for Ernesto Valverde’s side, and their prolonged pursuit of Coutinho is demonstrating how unprepared they were for Neymar’s departure.
Despite the fact that Coutinho’s team had informed Barcelona that the 25-year-old was open to a move to the Nou Camp earlier this summer, the Liverpool playmaker would never have been a target for Valverde if Neymar had not left the club.
The Catalans were originally eyeing a centre midfielder and a winger at the start of the transfer window, and therefore did not consider the Brazilian a priority.
The deal leaves Barcelona in limbo, they are struggling to close a deal for Coutinho and therefore do not have a suitable replacement for the departed Neymar.
Club president Josep Maria Bertomeu will be working tirelessly to find a solution to the nightmare he finds his club in. The man in charge of one of the biggest teams in the world is now under tremendous pressure to fill the void in Barca’s attacking trident left by Neymar.