What comes next is the fallout; which transfer dominoes are going to fall next? Who will Barcelona buy to possibly fill Neymar’s shoes? The effects of this transfer, on and off the pitch are far-reaching and extensive, but with it finally over the line, next comes the fallout.
Who does Barcelona buy to “replace” Neymar?
There is now a hole in Ernesto Valverde’s 4-3-3 formation that can be filled with a world class player, since Barca certainly have the cash to buy one. Even at the hyper-inflated prices that Barcelona will be quoted for players because the world knows how much cash they’re sitting on, Barca can have their pick.
Some of the names Barcelona will no doubt be linked with are Kylian Mbappe, Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele and further names such as Eden Hazard, Antoine Griezmann, Dele Alli as well as a host of others. How realistic is it for Barca to be buying any one of the names they’re linked with before the transfer window shuts at the end of this month? Depends on what player you’re referring to.
Mbappe is the name that will certainly raise eyebrows, but so too will the price he’s up at: €120 million at the low end, €180 at the high end. In Monaco’s first game of the new campaign, he was also injured. After all of the other sales at Monaco this summer, it seems evident that the club want to keep Mbappe for one more season at least before cashing in. Though they may not get the world record fee everyone assumed he’d demand after Neymar’s move, a potential World Cup run with France may help increase his value. He’s certainly high on the list of targets, but not only will Barca have competition from the world’s other big clubs, Barcelona will want to buy other players besides just Mbappe.
Coutinho is someone with whom Barcelona has been repeatedly linked with because of Neymar, both when he was at the club and now after he left. He’d demand a huge fee, though probably not Mbappe levels of splurge. But the trouble Barca would face trying to sign Coutinho, outside of the positional and tactical issues, would be Liverpool’s incredible reluctance to sell their superstar, as well as Coutinho seemingly being happy where he is. Getting Coutinho would be a coup and would also take more than just money to get the deal to work.
Their most realistic target could be Dortmund’s Ousamane Dembele, who cost €8 mil when he moved to Germany from Rennes last summer. Barcelona were highly interested, but Dembele wanted regular first team football, and he wouldn’t have gotten it behind MSN. Now with the N gone, Dembele could slot right in on the left and provide all of the aspects Ernesto Valverde would want from a left-sided forward in a 4-3-3. He would cost a lot too, reportedly €100 million, but he seems the most realistic target.
Most of the other names linked with Barca are more fanciful targets: Hazard, Alli, Griezmann all have other reasons to stay with their clubs beyond just sporting reasons, making it much more likely than not that they will stay put.
If any of these names did end up moving to the Camp Nou, the transfer fallout would continue to ripple. For instance, if Coutinho heads to Barcelona, Liverpool would need a replacement. The most likely candidate, according to the rampant rumor mill? Christian Pulisic. This is why this transfer is so fascinating, beyond the mechanisms that made it happen at all. The fallout from this transfer will ripple to other clubs around the continent, and it’s not just because of who is on Barca’s shopping list.
If Barcelona buys a star, how does the club they’ve pillaged respond in the transfer market?
Liverpool’s links with Christian Pulisic are exactly the kind of links you’ll see pop up for Borussia Dortmund, Monaco and any other club whose main star is getting admiring glances from the Camp Nou going forward. How many of them have truth remains to be seen, but these stories are also going to flood the transfer round-up sections across the globe.
It’s precisely in these transfers where the brunt of the ripple effects of the Neymar blockbuster will be seen, because it will force clubs across the globe to scramble to find replacements upon replacements just in case, and some of those links are starting to pop up as we speak. Will these clubs replace those who they have lost with PSG’s spare parts, for instance? Angel Di Maria, Jese, Blaise Matuidi and many others may need a new home as PSG will have to shift out a few bodies as their squad is getting quite bloated. Will clubs like Barcelona or others turn to Angel Di Maria, for instance?
Neymar’s crazy transfer to PSG has wide ranging implications beyond just the pitch and the transfer market, and those ripples are only now starting to pick up wake. It seemed as if the remarkable saga with Neymar’s move to PSG finished up when the move itself was cinched, but that was only the beginning of the story. Perhaps the real story with Neymar’s transfer is how clubs around the world react to the domino effect it has created.
And with the transfer window closing at the end of the month, the clock is ticking on Barca to buy a replacement, and then for clubs to buy replacements for Barca’s Neymar replacement.