There are some transfer rumours that fans simply refuse to believe until they actually materialise – that’s exactly what happened with Neymar’s move to PSG.
Thanks to the enormous wealth of their Qatari backers, the Parisians were able to pull off an extraordinary world record £198million deal.
Not only did it leave football reeling, the Brazilian’s departure presented Barcelona with a big dilemma as they sought a world-class replacement.
The Blaugrana’s pursuit of Philippe Coutinho may yet come to fruition, but Liverpool stood their ground.
Ousmane Dembele did join from Borussia Dortmund, with BVB receiving an initial £96.8m for a player who got injured almost immediately upon his arrival at the Nou Camp.
Fortunately, on paper, Ernesto Valverde’s side aren’t missing their former star too much, as they sit top of La Liga by six points. Going into this weekend’s El Clasico, they have an 11-point advantage over champions Real Madrid.
So, all in all, things are moving forward without Neymar pretty smoothly.
However, the 25-year-old is still missed in Catalonia, as evidenced by a heartwarming message sent to him by Lionel Messi.
MESSI’S CLASSY MESSAGE
Brought to our attention by the Mirror, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner told the forward:
“Well, Ney… I think we said practically everything to each other when you left.
“The truth is that here we are still missing you. We would like to keep sharing the mates [a South American tea] in the morning with Luis [Suarez] in the dressing room and many more things.
“Like always, I wish you the best wherever you are and I’m sure we will cross again on or off the pitch very soon. Take care of yourself.”
The Argentine then showed off a gift he was sending his old partner.
“Brother, thanks. For me, you are an idol and also a great friend. Big hugs.”
If that doesn’t make you feel a little nostalgic about the ‘MSN’ trio, nothing will.
One could argue Luis Suarez has suffered the most, with Neymar’s exit possibly a factor in some of his difficulties on the pitch this season.
These days, Neymar is part of a formidable attack alongside Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani, but we can say with confidence he’ll never play with anyone quite like Messi again.