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Is Neymar the missing link at Barca?

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A return to the Camp Nou would be a surprise

International Champions Cup 2017 - Real Madrid v FC Barcelona Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The thought of seeing Neymar dressed in Blaugrana again has got everyone all twitchy.

It’s abundantly clear that the vast majority of supporters are still not over the machiavellian way in which he left the club two seasons ago, and it’s hard not to be sympathetic to that view.

Equally, if a player believes that he can better himself elsewhere, whether that be financially or otherwise, one shouldn’t necessarily begrudge that ambition.

However, it’s the way in which the Brazilian is seemingly coming back cap-in-hand, tail between his legs and looking for salvation from a disastrous move to Paris which sticks in the craw.

You made your bed son, you lie in it.

Except today’s footballer would rather start anew than ride out the storm, which is for all intents and purposes what Neymar is doing now.

From what we can read and hear, there are serious moves afoot to get the player out of the French capital as quickly as possible, and even Paris Saint-Germain president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, has had his say.

“I want players willing to give everything to defend the honour of the jersey and to join the club project,” he said.

“Those who do not want that, or do not understand, we will meet and we will talk to each other.

“There are of course contracts to be respected, but the priority now is total membership of our project.

“Nobody forced him to sign here. Nobody pushed him. He came knowingly to join a project.”

Source | France Football

Strong, direct words, that leave nothing open to interpretation.

With that in mind, and Neymar’s reported desire to leave, Barcelona would seem to be the only realistic destination for him to go to, should they decide to enter negotiations for him.

There’s been no suggestion that the club are willing to do so at this point, but when players of that quality become available, the Catalans have to be in the queue... don’t they? No doubt the views of Messrs. Pique, Suarez and Messi will have been taken into account too.

Taking his off-field issues out of the discussion for just a moment, Neymar has been excellent for the most part at PSG. Goals, assists, wonderfully entertaining attacking play.

In fact, all of the things that Barca fans loved about him the first time around.

But it isn’t just about the football with Ney, and that’s undoubtedly the biggest drawback to any potential deal. Sign him, and you’re getting the whole circus act, including some quite unsavoury actions and allegations.

For a club that’s now so desperate to be Kings of Europe again, can that be overlooked and the team dynamic massaged to allow him a place back in the Blaugrana front line?

What he brings to a side in terms of work rate and goal scoring output will give Barca something that they lack.

If he’s willing to step back into Messi’s shadow and toe the line, maybe he can he be the missing link to European glory.