Gerard Piqué has spoken out about the rumors linking Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar to a return to Barcelona.
“I believe that the operation is very complicated, the player belongs to PSG,” the defender began. “I would be delighted to have him here, although it has to be Neymar who has to speak out. Of course we speak with him, but it’s not opportune to disclose private conversations. It is him that needs to come out and talk. He is a genius inside and outside the pitch, and we wait for updates.”
Neymar’s desire to leave Paris and return to Barcelona is practically an open secret at this point, but the player himself has not made a public statement on the matter.
Interestingly, the official FC Barcelona Twitter account posted the quote:
@3gerardpique on Neymar Jr's possible return: "He's a great player who knows the dressing room, the city, and the Club. It's a complicated transaction and it must be he who decides." pic.twitter.com/hOayiqY5UJ— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 6, 2019
Barcelona players and staff seem to be operating with the same strategy when speaking to the media: do not reveal what Neymar has said in private, but instead insist the forward must make a public declaration to get his move.
Juliano Belletti, former Barça fullback and now a club ambassador, had a similar response when asked about Neymar. Belletti insisted he didn’t really know what Neymar thought, and it was up to the player to speak up if he wants to leave.
Piqué also talked about new signing Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman rejected Barcelona last year, in a documentary called The Decision which was produced by Piqué’s company, Kosmos.
“He is a great, great player and it’s great news that we have him with us. What happened in the past no longer matters, if you perform well and you score goals, normally the supporters are always on your side. We hope that he adapts well from the first moment.”