The latest twist in the unbelievable Neymar saga could see Barcelona sensationally gazump hated rivals Real Madrid in the chase for Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe, with gossip from Spain suggesting Los Blancos president Florentino Perez fears the worst.
There had been little doubt that Mbappe would ultimately end up at Real when he felt it was right to leave Monaco, with the only real questions over the fee that would be paid to the French champions and assurances for the player about game time.
Earlier this week it was reported that a deal totalling €180m was agreed, but Diego Torres Romano of Madrid-based newspaper El Pais, a journalist with close ties to Real, has suggested that Perez actually fears Mbappe has an agreement with Barça in light of the Neymar sale.
Florentino teme que el Barça tenga firmado a Mbappé y venda a Neymar al PSG. Esto le bloquearía la compra de Mbappé y la venta de Cristiano.— Diego Torres Romano (@diegotorresro) July 27, 2017
With the anticipated €220m windfall, finances certainly wouldn't be an issue at Camp Nou if they wished to trade like for like in a one in/one out kind of deal.
Unlike at Real, with Neymar gone from Barça there wouldn't be the same need to convince Mbappe that he would be guaranteed a decent amount of playing time. As things stands, Real would have to move someone on to give the youngster the chances he would crave.
That relies on another club buying one of their stars, most likely Gareth Bale, and makes their attempt to sign Mbappe a lot more complicated than Barça's would be.
And Neymar's exit to Paris Saint-Germain that would make it possible seems to be edging closer and closer to reality. One thing potentially holding up the deal was uncertainty with regard to how it would affect the club in relation to UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations.
If there was any chance PSG could be sanctioned and banned from the Champions League for falling foul of the rules again, Neymar would understandably want to steer clear. But UEFA's Head of Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play, Andrea Traverso, appears to have little issue with it if his comments in a column for Gazzetta dello Sport are anything to go by.
"Clubs like Manchester City and PSG do not do what they want, they have respected our agreements. They have enormous revenues and can act. The rules are the same for everyone. If a club buys, we assume it has done the maths. Otherwise, it will be sanctioned. But we cannot stop them from buying," Traverso explained.
"Football is growing at 10% per year. Everyone is surprised by the Neymar figures, but the revenues of these clubs have increased and they probably have the right accounts to be able to spend."
In a further update on Neymar's increasingly likely exit, Marcelo Bechler of Esporte Interativo, who first brought news that the player was willing to accept PSG's incredible offer, has tweeted that Neymar will not now return to Barcelona after their summer tour of America.
He claims to have been given word by the club that Neymar won't be going back with the squad.