Real Madrid legend Roberto Carlos has admitted his former side will never be able to prise Neymar away from Barcelona, while the Blaugrana themselves reportedly hoped to sign Sergio Aguero in place of Luis Suarez.
According to football journalist Dermot Corrigan, the Brazilian described the prospect of Los Blancos recruiting his compatriot as "impossible" and claimed his earlier comments on the idea were a "joke:"
Indeed, though players have made the switch between the two rivals in the past, Neymar has little reason to leave Barca, after winning five of a possible six trophies with the Catalan giants in 2015 and finishing third in the race for the FIFA Ballon d'Or, not to mention his positive partnership with team-mates Lionel Messi and Suarez.
Spanish football expert Sergi Dominguez believes the Brazilian has an incredible future:
As for Suarez, according to Marca (h/t Sport EN), Barca's former sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta claimed the club hoped to land Manchester City's Aguero, but after finding a move for him too difficult to pull off, they switched their attention to the Uruguayan.
He said: "We had several options, but Luis Suarez was not the first option—he knows that. We were planning to sign Aguero, but that didn’t come off. After that, though, there were no doubts: Luis Suarez was our only objective."
Zubizarreta also added that Suarez's bite of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the 2014 World Cup actually aided their pursuit of him:
While we were negotiating for him the [biting] incident happened with Chiellini. That meant a lot of the clubs hoping to sign him had doubts [about committing to a deal]. They were questioning his character and they didn’t know how serious the ban was going to be. I thought it was the moment to accelerate our bid to sign him.
Suarez has gone on to be a resounding success at Barcelona and performed a key role in their attacking trident with Messi and Neymar.
Football journalist Rafael Hernandez placed all three among the top 11 players of 2015, while Dominguez believes Suarez should have been second to Messi in the Ballon d'Or stakes:
Barca's interest in Aguero is understandable, though, as the Argentinian is arguably one of the few attackers on the planet better than the Uruguayan. Match of the Day and Squawka Football hailed his goalscoring exploits on Twitter:
Regardless, Barcelona have acquired one of the best in the world in Suarez, and the forward will continue to shine alongside his team-mates for years to come.
One such team-mate in the future could be Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba.
According to Sport Mediaset's Paolo Bargiggia (h/t Sport EN) "Pogba is only interested in Barcelona. Barca want Pogba in the summer and the offer could be around €100 million. He's not interested in Real Madrid or Manchester City. He has made his choice and his choice will take him to Catalonia."
The Frenchman is one of the most sought-after youngsters in world football, and as the Sport EN report notes, the Blaugrana have been long-time admirers.
As the following clips from BT Sport Football reveal, the 22-year-old has the technical attributes needed to slot in at the Camp Nou:
With rivals Real Madrid transfer banned for the next two windows, barring a successful appeal, Barca will face less competition for his signature in the summer.
Though there will be big-money offers on the table from Europe's other elite clubs, few can compete with the lure of the Blaugrana, and so he'll likely end up plying his trade there next season, assuming he moves at all.