Barcelona News: Lionel Messi feared Neymar would move to Real Madrid when the Blaugrana failed to sign him this summer
What's the story?
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi believed that Neymar would've headed to Real Madrid when the Catalan giants failed to sign him during the summer transfer window, adding that he thought Florentino Perez would have capitalised on the Brazilian's desire to leave Paris Saint-Germain.
In case you didn't know...
Neymar was at the centre of the longest-running transfer saga of the summer, with a return to Barcelona heavily tipped as his next move.
It was believed that the Catalans giants' arch-rivals, Real Madrid, were prepared to hijack the move in the hopes of benefitting from the PSG forward's star power on and off the field.
The battle for the Brazilian star ultimately ended without a transfer as the Blaugrana were unable to agree to a price with the Ligue 1 giants.
Barcelona did manage to secure the services of Antoine Griezmann for £108 million but the Frenchman is yet to hit peak form after a mixed start with his new club.
The heart of the matter
In an interview with RAC1, Messi has admitted that he thought Neymar would've been tempted to move to Real Madrid following Barcelona's failed attempts to bring him back to the Camp Nou.
The Argentine talisman said, as per Marca,
"I really thought Neymar would go to Real Madrid if he didn't come here. He really wanted to leave Paris and he'd shown it.
"And I thought that Florentino [Perez] and Real Madrid were going to do something to sign him."
Neymar's transfer saga is likely to resume during the January transfer window as the 27-year-old was desperately intent on departing PSG over the summer.
French publication Le10Sport even claimed that Barcelona are considering the possibility of using Griezmann in a swap deal to land the Brazilian, as the former Atletico Madrid star has reportedly failed to form a relationship with Messi at the Camp Nou.