Neymar's escaped Barcelona. The transfer window will close on Monday and he will remain in Paris, against his will. The Brazilian star tried to engineer a return to Barça but it did not materialise.
Barça made a huge financial effort to get the deal done, with 150 million euros on the table, 20 million of which coming from Neymar's own pocket, plus Ivan Rakitic and Jean Clair Todibo on permanent deals and Ousmane Dembele on loan. PSG did not accept and Barça had no room to move.
The move has not happened now but Barça will try again in 2020: be that in January, as happened with Philippe Coutinho, or next summer. The Catalan capital remains the only place Neymar wants to go.
Over the past few months, Barcelona's relationship with the star has improved. It was left in tatters after his exit in 2017. The fact he said no to Real Madrid, his effort to force PSG's hand and his desire to return to Camp Nou have sat well with the club's hierarchy. No one at the club now doubts Ney's intentions.
Having to wait a few months, or even a year, for a star signing is a familiar setting for Barcelona. It also happened with Antoine Griezmann and with Coutinho. Both eventually joined the club.
Cesc Fabregas' eventual return was also a long-running saga. He was targetted in 2008 but it wasn't until 2011 that he finally got his move back to Catalonia. Another ex-Arsenal player, Thierry Henry, also only arrived in 2007 when the club thought everything was in place to sign him in 2006.
Griezmann, Coutinho, Cesc, Henry... all had happy endings in the end. And the club hope the same will happen with Ney.
PSG's position would be weakened in January as they next summer there's an escape route for Neymar. If they didn't let him go next summer, Neymar could appeal to FIFA. He will have completed three years of his deal, signed when he was under 28. The period of protection for contracts without release clauses would have passed and FIFA would determine the price: probably around 180 million, Barça believe.
That's based on the price of his exit (222 million), his amortisation and his salary, around 38 million net per season. Therefore, there's conviction among the board that Neymar will be back.