Barcelona chief Joan Laporta flirts with Neymar return but fires shots at PSG star

Neymar: Pundits on whether PSG move was the right decision

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Barcelona chief Joan Laporta has flirted with the idea of a return for Neymar. It emerged over the weekend that the PSG star had been offered to the La Liga titans, with the Ligue 1 side willing to cut him loose following Kylian Mbappe’s new contract. Yet the finances would need to add up in order for the Brazil international to make a sensational return.

PSG were recently successful in their bid to keep Mbappe, leaving Real Madrid reeling in the process.

And, in the short time since, it’s emerged that Ligue 1 giants are willing to jettison Neymar in order to balance the books.

Barcelona have now emerged as potential suitors, with the Samba star previously spending four years at the Nou Camp between 2013 and 2017.

He established himself as one of the best forwards in world football during that spell, shining alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in attack.

And Laporta has now hinted he’d be ready to have Neymar back.

However, the Barcelona chief also suggested the PSG star would have to return ‘for free’ while appearing to accuse the 30-year-old of moving to the Parc des Princes ‘for the money’.

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“Who doesn’t love Neymar? He’s exceptional player,” he told L’Esportiu.

“But all these players to return to Barca one day should come for free.

“Players who have signed for clubs like PSG, have almost signed their slavery. For money.”

Neymar’s move to PSG five years ago was extremely controversial.

The Brazilian had been expected to stay at Barcelona, who were looking to raid their French rivals for the likes of Adrien Rabiot and Marco Verratti.

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Fed up with Barcelona lurking, however, PSG then responded by activating Neymar’s massive £200million buyout clause.

The Brazilian then decided to try a new challenge in France, having grown frustrated at being in Messi’s shadow.

And he’s scored 100 goals for the club in 144 appearances in the time since, though injuries have prevented him from adding to that tally.

Barcelona did probe re-signing Neymar back in 2019, just two years after the winger moved to France.

Yet having already spent lavishly on Antoine Griezmann, they ultimately missed out on a reunion.

That frustrated Messi, who had been advocating Neymar to return.

And whether a blockbuster transfer takes place this summer is something only time will tell.

In February this year, meanwhile, Neymar opened up on his failed move back to Barcelona by insisting he ‘tried everything’ to make it happen.

“I tried to return to Barca,” he told Brazil icon Ronaldo on the Fenomenos podcast.

“We tried everything, but it wasn’t possible.”

In January, on his Netflix documentary, Neymar also insisted he was happy the move didn’t materialise.

“When I made the decision to leave PSG, it wasn’t because of a fan or a club,” he said.

“It’s because I saw that I felt better elsewhere.

“I never did anything against the PSG fans, nor against the club itself. It was never that.

“It’s the opposite. I am very grateful, we are on the same side, we defend the same shirt. I am here to help.”

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