Lionel Messi is unconvinced that Barcelona did enough to bring Neymar back to the Nou Camp, despite a summer of transfer rumours and different potential deals.
Right up until the end of the European transfer window on September 2nd the Neymar transfer saga hogged the headlines with the prospect of a return to La Liga, with either Barcelona or Real Madrid, expected.
In the end, despite many rumoured different deals, the Brazilian stayed with PSG. Now Messi has revealed he thinks Barca could have done more, speaking to SPORT he said, “Honestly, I don’t know if Barcelona did everything possible to ensure his return.
“However, it is certainly true that negotiating with PSG isn’t easy.
“I don’t know what happened with the board. I know that I spoke with Ney and he told me how things were going. He was desperate to come back. I don’t know if the club really tried or not. From what I do know, Neymar was hoping it would happen.”
There were a lot of stories about how any deal for the former Santos forward might be structured with a number of players from the La Liga champions linked with a swap deal.
Towards the end of the transfer window there was also the suggestion of a loan deal this season with obligation to buy next year, much like the deal that saw Kylian Mbappe move to PSG.
Speaking about having the 27-year-old back in the team Messi is under no doubt he would have been a good signing, saying, “I would have loved to have Neymar back. 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.”
Asked if he was upset his former teammate didn’t return to Barca the five time Ballon d’Or winner added that he believes the squad is good enough to reach their goals without ‘Ney,’ saying, “No, I would have liked for him to return but I think we have a spectacular squad and can achieve everything without him. So no, I’m not disappointed. I would have liked to play alongside him again, that’s all.”