Barcelona has been sent a strong message by Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser al-Khelaïfi over the club’s reported pursuit of Neymar ahead of the summer transfer window.
Al-Khelaïfi has “personally warned” the Catalan giants to “forget about the possible return of the Brazilian” to the Camp Nou this summer, according to Xavi Campos at Catalunya Radio.
However, Barca “continue to see Neymar as an option for the future” and a summer move to the Camp Nou has not been competely ruled out for now despite the club’s financial difficulties.
Neymar’s current contract with PSG expires in 2022. The Brazilian has reportedly agreed a new deal that would keep him at the club for another four years, but the contract extension remains unsigned for now.
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Neymar Criticized For PSG’s UCL Exit
Neymar has come in for criticism in France after his performance against Manchester City in Tuesday’s Champions League exit at the hands of the Premier League leaders in the semi-finals of Europe’s top competition.
French daily newspaper Le Parisien’s headline the day after the match was, “Neymar: A genius without ideas.” France Football described his performance as “catastrophic,” while L’Equipe claimed Neymar “didn’t lead the team like he should have,” as reported by Marca.
Neymar was signed by PSG in a bid to land the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history. Yet the Ligue 1 champions have once again failed in their attempts with Manchester City set to take on Chelsea in the final.
The Brazilian’s sole victory in the Champions League came in a Barcelona shirt back in 2014-15 which was also the last time the Catalan giants were crowned European champions.
Former boss Pep Guardiola said before the semi-final tie that he believed Barcelona “would have won two or three more Champions Leagues” if Neymar had stayed at the Camp Nou.
Will Neymar Return?
Speculation that Neymar will return to Barcelona is nothing new and may well dominate the headlines all summer unless the Brazil international does sign a new contract at the Parc des Princes.
If the 29-year-old does not put pen to paper then PSG has a tough decision to make and may be tempted to sell to avoid the possibility of seeing Neymar walk away for free next year when his contract expires.
According to La Vanguardia, Barca will try to land Neymar as president Joan Laporta wants to sign a top star this summer. Erling Haaland was the top target but Borussia Dortmund do not want to sell and his price tag is also problematic.
The report adds that Laporta may have up to €100 million ($120m) to spend this summer. The president is busy trying to refinance the club’s huge debt and will also try to offload some players to give the club room to maneouvre in the transfer market.
Another potential stumbling block is Barca must comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules. According to Marca, Barca must “sell some of their highest earners, such as Antoine Griezmann, Samuel Umtiti and Philippe Coutinho” to be able to renew Messi contract and sign Neymar.