Barcelona News: Lionel Messi says Neymar was desperate for Camp Nou return
Lionel Messi has revealed that Barcelona were keen on reuniting with Neymar this summer but negotiations with Paris Saint Germain proved to be difficult, as the Parisian club were unwilling to part with their talisman.
In an interview with SPORT, Messi dwelled deeper into the subject, going on to say that the Catalan giants may not have done everything within their powers to re-sign the Brazilian superstar.
Following a sensational collapse in the latter stages of the season, the club moved quickly to secure the services of Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong in big-money deals and it remained likely that Neymar would return to Spain, less than two years after his world-record move to the French capital.
"Neymar is one of the best players in the world and having him in our squad would increase our chances of achieving our objectives"
Messi's friendship with Neymar has been no secret and the pair have remained in contact despite the Brazilian's controversial switch away from the club.
"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. What I do know, Neymar was hoping it would happen."
Neymar's proposed switch to Barcelona was a transfer saga that lasted for the entirety of the summer and although the move failed to materialize, Messi reveals that the Brazilian had his heart set on a return to the Camp Nou.
"I wanted him to come not just for the sporting side of things but also for the club. In terms of the image, marketing, sponsorships and to keep growing. It would have given the club a lift too. He was desperate to leave and come to Barcelona."
Despite the club's failure to re-sign their former talisman, Messi revealed that Barcelona have enough fire-power to compete on all fronts this season.
"I would have liked for him (Neymar) to return but I think we have a spectacular squad and we can achieve everything without him. So no, I’m not disappointed. Only I would have liked to play alongside him again, that's all."
The Argentinian has yet to feature this season owing to a calf strain but is expected to return to action in the coming weeks, as the Catalan giants look to put their early season jitters past them and covet yet another league title.