Lionel Messi has finally commented on the speculated return of his former Barcelona teammate.
Neymar has struggled to get the PSG fans behind him since his record-breaking €222million move in 2017. He wanted a return to his former club Barcelona. The Barcelona players, including Messi and Suarez who formed the famous MSN attacking trio along with Neymar, wanted the Brazilian back at Camp Nou. The transfer saga stretched till the transfer deadline day but the dramatic return of Neymar to Camp Nou did not happen.
Messi told to Sport about the transfer of Neymar: “I don’t know if Barca did everything possible for his return. But it is true that negotiating with PSG is not easy.
I would have loved for Neymar to return. He is one of the best players in the world and at the image level and sponsors we would have taken a leap that would have given us stability.
In the locker room, we never asked for Ney’s signing. We gave our opinion, but it has become clear that despite what they say, I do not command.”
Messi further added: “I understand those people who are against his return and it’s understandable for what happened with ‘Ney’ and the way that he left. But thinking about it on a sporting level, I personally think Neymar is one of the best players in the world and having him in our squad would increase our chances of achieving our objectives. But, in the end, it didn’t happen and we have to only think about the squad we have and focus on our goals.
To be honest, I don’t know. I didn’t have much information about how the negotiations were going to say whether or not Barcelona did everything possible. I don’t know what happened with the board. I know that I spoke with Ney and he told me how things were going. He was desperate to come back. I don’t know if the club really tried or not.”
“What I do know, Neymar was hoping it would happen. I also understand it’s very difficult to negotiate with PSG after all their previous back and forth issues with Barcelona. And it’s difficult because Neymar is one of the best around.
Negotiations are never easy. I can’t offer an opinion because I don’t know everything. I know what was published and what they said.”
Neymar still has three years remaining on his current PSG contract. But he is yet to feature for Thomas Tuchel’s side this season. The 27-year-old made his first appearance of this campaign for Brazil during the international break.
Messi has also missed all of Barcelona’s games this season with a calf injury. And adding more sorrow to his fans, he has confirmed that he will not be available for the match against Valencia this weekend.
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