WILL NEYMAR RETURN TO BARCELONA?
The Neymar saga began in the Summer of 2017 when PSG announced a move that shook the footballing world. Neymar cost the Parisian side £200 million which to this day is still the highest transfer fee of all time and FC Barcelona have been desperate to get him back ever since.
When Neymar originally left the Catalan club, a court case began. Barcelona filed a lawsuit to reclaim the contract bonus which they claim he shouldn’t have received along with over €8.5 million in damages. 3 years later, the court ordered Neymar to pay Barcelona €6.7 million which left a sour taste in the mouth of Neymar.
Neymar refused to return to PSG preseason training which forced the club to take disciplinary action against the player. PSG Sporting Director Leonardo had a meeting in 2019 with representatives of Barcelona in the hope of striking a deal for Neymar’s return.
However, the talks broke down with Barcelona unable to raise funds for the transfer. Sources in France and Spain claimed Barcelona offered €100 million plus Coutinho, Ivan Rakitić and Samuel Umtiti as a player swap deal which PSG found unacceptable.
These days, it looks unlikely that Neymar will return to Barcelona due to tensions between the two parties. PSG recently played Barcelona in a UEFA Champions League round of 16 match where the Parisian side came out victorious 4-1 in the Camp Nou. This led to huge celebrations from Neymar Jr on social media which more than irritated the opposite fans.
At the end of January, FC Barcelona’s debt hit £1 billion according to Spanish sources El Mundo Deportivo and Sport. ESPN’s Sid Lowe wrote: “Forget bringing back Neymar, they can't even afford Eric Garcia” which seems to put a nail in the coffin for the Neymar Jr saga.
In February 2021, news emerged from France that Neymar had agreed to a new 4-year contract. His previous deal was set to expire in the summer of 2022, however, PSG were very keen to hold on to the Brazilian and build the team around him rather than Kylian Mbappe (who’s set to join Real Madrid.)
Neymar has stated that he’s happy at the club in many interviews. He has a lot of power at the club and he and his father have a great relationship with sporting director Leonardo. Neymar had a say in the arrival of Rafinha who joined PSG on a free transfer last summer along with Dani Alves in 2017. Don’t be surprised to see more Brazilians join the club in the near future if Neymar does extend his contract.
Neymar has scored over 50 goals in his time at Paris along with being the creative force that drives the team forward. He was a vital part of the side that reached the 2020 UEFA Champions League final when other teammates suffered injuries. PSG will be desperate to keep hold of him and give him a bumper contract to scare off European sides such as FC Barcelona.