Barcelona News: Lionel Messi opens up on Neymar's failed transfer to the Camp Nou this summer
What's the story?
In case you didn't know...
Neymar looked poised for a Catalan homecoming over the summer transfer window, two years after he left Barcelona for PSG in 2017.
The 27-year-old forward enjoyed some of his most successful years with the Blaugrana and formed a lethal attacking unit with Messi and Luis Suarez. The trio lifted two La Liga trophies, three Copa del Rey trophies and one Champions League title during their time together.
The Brazil international was reported to have been keen on departing the Parc des Princes and had made his desire apparent with a series of antics throughout the summer.
PSG and Barcelona met a few times to negotiate a potential deal but no agreement was reached by the end of the European transfer window.
The heart of the matter
In an interview with Sport, Messi has admitted that he is unsure whether Barcelona pulled out all the stops to bring Neymar back to the Camp Nou.
The 32-year-old said, "I would have loved it if Neymar came. Honestly, I don’t know if the club has done everything possible to sign him, but I’m sure it’s not easy to negotiate with PSG."
"I’m not disappointed. We have a spectacular squad and we can compete for everything, even without Ney. From a sporting standpoint, Neymar is one of the best in the world. And from a marketing and sponsorship standpoint, the club would have made a jump."
Messi went on to dismiss rumours that he demanded the club to sign Neymar saying, "We never asked for Neymar’s signing, we simply gave our opinion. Am I in charge of things? It has been shown that is not the case."
Messi is yet to make his first start for Barcelona this term due to a calf injury sustained during pre-season and has been ruled out of the side's LaLiga clash against Valencia this weekend.