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Neymar still Barca's transfer priority despite boardroom upheaval

18:45 GMT+3 04/07/2019
Neymar Barcelona
Vice-president Jordi Mestre has stepped down from his role, leaving Josep Bartomeu as the main engine behind the pursuit of the Brazil international

The upheaval behind the scenes at Barcelona has added a new chapter with yet another boardroom exit - but Goal can confirm that will not affect Neymar's status as the club's top transfer target this summer. 

Of the group of directors that engineered the Brazilian's controversial, murky arrival back in 2013, president Josep Maria Bartomeu is now the sole survivor. 

Jordi Mestre, Bartomeu's vice, has resigned from his post, a further sign of the internal battles that have afflicted Camp Nou over the last four years. 

At the time of Neymar's signing Mestre was in a junior role in the sporting wing of the club, and did not appear in the lavish photos that accompanied the ex-Santos' man's presentation. 

Now one thing is certain: he will not be appearing in any more pictures.

The author of the infamous phrase "Neymar is 200 per cent staying" has departed, leaving Bartomeu alone in his quest to re-sign the Paris Saint-Germain star.

Since Bartomeu's election victory in 2015 the Barca boardroom has been little short of a warzone. Four vice-presidents have come and gone, while director Jordi Mones also stepped down in 2015.

Those in charge at Camp Nou are split on the decision to pursue Neymar, although this most recent reshuffle should not change Barca's transfer priorities at least for now. What prompted Mestre's resignation was not the board's wavering over the Brazilian, but rather the intense criticisms faced by sporting director Pep Segura.

Exhausted after constantly coming to Segura's defence and finding himself in the minority among the Barca board, he has taken a step back and will support the return of Neymar as just another Barcelona member. 

This latest resignation could be a body blow to Segura, who may find his position untenable should the Catalans' transfer activity fail to pan out as planned. He has a hectic summer ahead, even allowing for the fact that Frenkie de Jong's transfer is a done deal - he is set to be presented at Camp Nou on Friday - and Antoine Griezmann is on the verge of signing. 

His future depends on Neymar, having already come under question in the aftermath of Copa del Rey final defeat to Valencia before eventually being spared. 

Segura is now on his last life. Perhaps Bartomeu as well. Both have tied their futures wholly on Neymar and in turn on the whims of PSG owner Sheikh Al Thani, who will have the last word on the sale of his unhappy charge. 

Neither Mestre nor Bartomeu are football men; the former, however, backed the president's strategy of scooping up the transfer market's biggest names.

Whether that will provide Barca, reeling in recent seasons due to defeat at the hands of Roma and Liverpool in the Champions League, with a more solid, mature team, regardless of Neymar's arrival, remains to be seen.