Can PSG star Neymar secure a sensational return to Barcelona?

Neymar has been tipped for a shock return to Barcelona… but can they beat rivals Real Madrid to Brazilian, how much would he cost and would the fans forgive him for leaving?

  • Neymar has been linked with a return to Barcelona as he wants to leave PSG
  • Real Madrid are also said to be in the race for the Brazilian star’s signature
  • PSG would demand the £196m fee they paid Barcelona for him in 2017 

Pete Jenson for MailOnline

Is there not still bad feelings?

More than that, there is still a court case to be decided. Neymar is still demanding around 26m euros (£23m) in unpaid bonuses. Presumably he would drop that demand, due to be heard in January next year, if he wanted to come back.

And drop his wages too? Can Barcelona afford him?

No they can’t afford him. He will cost the same 222m euros (£196m) PSG paid for him and his wages are currently hovering around the 45m (£40m) euros mark. Barcelona’s wage bill is already at the limit set by the club’s own statutes. Players would have to leave. PSG have shown an interest in Ousmane Dembele and Ivan Rakitic in the past so they are the two names being put forward. Players plus cash deals tend to happen very rarely – too many stars need to be aligned.

Barcelona may have to use Ousmane Dembele and Ivan Rakitic as bait to land Neymar

Barcelona may have to use Ousmane Dembele and Ivan Rakitic as bait to land Neymar

What would the coach say?

The original story suggested Neymar would only return if the coaching staff wanted it. But Ernesto Valverde’s contract runs out at the end of the season and so far there has been little interest from the club in renewing him. It seems unlikely his view on the matter would make or break any deal?

Does this change Madrid’s position?

Neymar remains the priority signing for the club’s president Florentino Perez. That will not have changed. Likewise the reservations held by other board members and club supporters stays the same. Neymar left to escape Messi’s shadow and win the Ballon d’Or. Now he finds himself in Kylian Mbappe’s shadow. Do Madrid really want to make him their one-year delayed replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo? Perez remains a believer.

Neymar is keen on leaving PSG after just a season-and-a-half at the French giants

Neymar is keen on leaving PSG after just a season-and-a-half at the French giants

So we wait and see?

Neymar will be 27 next summer. No one is quite sure if that means he is in his prime or definitively on the way down? Let’s see how the rest of the season pans out with PSG. The only certainty is he will, one way or another, be the transfer story of the summer of 2019 just as he was two years ago. 


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