Neymar’s declaration that he would like to play once again with his former teammate Lionel Messi has led the papers to ask whether such a reunion is possible.
The short answer seems to be yes, although it’s not necessarily likely.
Barcelona’s interim president, Carles Tusquets, said Neymar could come, but only on a free transfer, unless Barcelona can raise money through sales.
“If he comes free, it could be done, but if we don’t sell, there is no money to sign anyone. At this moment it would be unaffordable, unless the next president has a miracle in his hands,” he said.
Neymar is on a five year deal with Paris Saint-Germain that expires in 2022.
Mundo Deportivo reckons that PSG could entice Messi to come the other way. They say the Parisian club is one of the few clubs in the world that could offer him the money he gets at Barcelona. In addition, they have a team that is dominant in the domestic league and made the UEFA Champions League Final last season.
Ángel Di María, a friend of his, plays there, and so does his compatriots Mauro Icardi and Leandro Paredes. Another possible reason for Messi to join is that Ligue 1 is considered less physical, and he could rest more games because PSG usually cruise to the league title. Finally, the city of Paris itself could be an attractive proposition for the Argentine.
On another front, one of the main candidates for the Barcelona presidency, said he was not worried about Neymar’s statements.
“It is normal for him to say it, they are friends and have an established hierarchy between them. This relationship is normal,” Jan Laporta said.
Laporta said he didn’t want to say too much because he feared “destabilizing the team,” but that he was working on improving Barcelona and enticing Messi to stay.
“I hope that Leo can wait and listen to the proposal of the new president of Barcelona,” he said.
A last possibility would be a third club getting them both, although it seems difficult with the way the football economy is doing that a team could afford to bring both in.