Barcelona’s players are reportedly not too keen on manager Ronald Koeman’s top transfer targets ahead of the summer window and would prefer the club moved to bring back former forward Neymar instead.
Koeman wants to sign free agents Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum but the dressing room views Koeman’s targets as “eccentric,” according to Mundo Deportivo‘s Ferran Martinez.
The report adds that there is “unanimity” within the dressing room that Neymar’s arrival “would be a great help” when it comes to trying to bring the Champions League back to Barcelona.
Neymar’s future is currently uncertain as he is yet to extend his current deal at Paris Saint-Germain and is out of contract in 2022. Sporting director Leonardo has told Sky Sports he thinks the situation with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will be resolved soon.
“We will be happy to have talks about contracts too. I think we’ll have some news that will make us all happy soon, but we’ll see,” he said. “We’ll get to a more concrete situation with them soon, but now we have to focus on the competition as we are entering the final stage.”
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Neymar Shines In Champions League
Neymar certainly offered a reminder of his talents in the quarter-finals of the Champions League this week, producing an impressive display as PSG beat defending champions Bayern Munich 3-2 in the first leg of their clash at the Allianz Arena.
The Brazil international picked up two assists to give Mauricio Pochettino’s side the edge in the tie ahead of the return at the Parc des Princes next week.
— Champions League on CBS Sports (@UCLonCBSSports) April 7, 2021
Neymar has agreed a four-year extension at PSG that would keep him at the club until 2026, according to Julien Laurens at ESPN. However, the deal has not been confirmed and there has been speculation he wants to leave to play with Lionel Messi again at Barcelona.
Fernando Polo at Mundo Deportivo has reported that Neymar could indeed turn down the offer of a new contract at PSG and return to Barcelona as a free agent in 2022. The club feels it would be “the best way” for Neymar to come back after his acrimonious departure in 2017.
Can Barca Afford Big Names?
Barcelona’s summer transfer activity should prove interesting with the club hamstrung by enormous debts. Koeman has spoken about the possibility of signing big names this summer and admits he’s unsure if the club can afford top transfers, as reported by BeIN Sports.
“I don’t know if it’s possible because we spoke about the future of this team and the final decision is always by the board, the president of this club, if something is possible or not,” he said. “It’s not up to me to answer this question because I’m not involved in the financial situation of the club. We spoke about how we can improve the team and the final decision is always by the president and the board.”
Barca continues to be linked with star signings such as Neymar and Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland but such moves will only be possible if they can offload some big names first.