All summer long it looked like Neymar would end up back at Barcelona. Though in the end the move never materialized, Barca superstar Lionel Messi said he would have loved for the Brazilian to return to the club, while questioning if the club really tried to sign him.
Neymar is entering his third season at PSG, and though he has played well, there have been countless off-the-field issues that he and the club have had to deal with. With the player appearing unsettled in Paris, a move almost came together before the transfer window, but Neymar reportedly decided to stay.
Messi said having him would have helped their chances in achieving their goals.
« I would have loved to have Neymar back, » Messi said, according to Sport. « 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. »
Messi didn’t appear to be involved at all about any discussions regarding the player with Barca officials, stating his uncertainty over to what extent the club went to sign him.
« Honestly, I don’t know if the club did everything possible to get him back but I’m sure negotiating with PSG isn’t easy, » Messi said.
Barca’s increased reported interest in the player made sense due to all of the injury issues the team is facing. Messi still hasn’t played this season and is a doubt for Saturday’s La Liga match against Valencia and next week’s Champions League opener against Dortmund — you can stream both games via fuboTV (Try for free).
Outside of Messi, Ousmane Demeble is still out and Luis Suarez just returned to practice from his Matchday 1 knock. Not landing Neymar now doesn’t mean any type of move is dead though. Expect the Neymar to Barca rumors to continue later this year and next summer, especially if Barca fails to win the Champions League.