Former Barcelona star Neymar played a starring role for Paris Saint-Germain in Wednesday’s Champions League win over Manchester United at Old Trafford and promptly dropped a bombshell after the game.
The Brazilian was interviewed by ESPN Argentina and decided to speak about his future. He explained, “What I want most is to play with Messi again. I want to enjoy playing with him again on the field, surely next year we have to do it.”
Neymar spent four years at Barcelona and enjoyed huge success, winning two league titles and the Champions League. He formed part of the famous ‘MSN’ attack alongside Messi and Luis Suarez at the Camp Nou.
The Brazilian’s subsequent departure for PSG in 2017 shocked the soccer world, although he has regularly been linked with a return to Barcelona during his time with the Ligue 1 side.
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What Next for Neymar?
Neymar’s current contract at PSG expires in 2022, but there has been speculation he will commit his future to the French champions. PSG have agreed a new five-year deal with the Brazilian, as reported by AS.
Barcelona will elect a new president in January, and some of the club’s presidential candidates have spoken about the possibility of a Neymar return. Emili Rousaud told Marca, “we are working to bring him back to Barcelona… if he withdraws the lawsuit he has against the club.”
However, Victor Font has ruled out making a move for the Brazilian if he is elected as the club’s next president, as reported by Sport.
Institutionally, Neymar’s not in my plans. For financial reasons and for other reasons, like the lawsuit he has against the club and the fact he left the club in a tricky position days before the season started. He would fit in on the sporting side but not on the financial or the institutional side of things.
Yet Barcelona would surely struggle to finance a deal for Neymar due to their financial problems. The club announced losses of €97 million for the 2019-20 season back in October and have also since confirmed playing staff will take pay-cuts worth €122m.
What Next For Messi?
Meanwhile, Messi’s future at Barcelona also remains uncertain. The Argentine told the club he wanted to leave in the summer but could not find a way out and remains at the Camp Nou.
Yet the 33-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the campaign and he will be a free agent if he does not renew with the Catalan giants. He will also be able to negotiate a pre-contract with other clubs in January.
There’s a suspicion Messi will wait until Barca’s new president is elected before he makes a final decision on his future, but there are no guarantees he will stay at the club.
A move to Manchester City and a reunion with Pep Guardiola has been rumored, but PSG may well be tempted if Messi is a free agent. Indeed, sporting director Leonardo admitted his club “thought about” signing the Argentine last summer, as reported by Marca.