The European football landscape faces an unknown future due to the coronavirus, but Paris Saint-Germain ace Neymar is reportedly certain about his hopes of returning to Barcelona this summer.
Neymar, 28, left the Camp Nou for Paris in 2017 for a world-record $263 million (€222 million), and speculation regarding a reunion has been rife effectively since he swapped Catalonia for the French capital.
A report by Sport’s Joaquim Piera said the Brazilian’s entourage are back in contact with the Blaugrana as he chases a comeback and is “prepared to do what it takes” to complete the transfer.
It’s understood everybody except PSG wants the deal to materialise. It’s a badly kept secret that Neymar is eager to move back to the scene of his greatest career successes, while Barcelona are said to want his spark back in their attack. Even the usually reserved Lionel Messi—who turns 33 in June and may be increasingly aware he can’t lead the team forever—told Mundo Deportivo in February his old team-mate "really wants to come back to Barcelona.”
Messi suggested in that same interview that he’d support a move to sign Inter Milan and Argentina striker Lautaro Martinez. Inter’s frontman has been linked as a potential successor to 33-year-old Luis Suarez, though Marca noted Barcelona may have to free up some room first:
Messi’s international compatriot, Martinez, has a release clause that will drop to $120 million (€111 million) during the first two weeks of July, per AS, though it’s uncertain how stipulations like this will be affected—if at all—following delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Neymar has returned to his native Brazil from France as a result of the illness spreading through Europe, with no certain date on when football will return to the calendar.
The Selecao star isn’t allowing that uncertainty to dictate his summer plans, however, as he now looks to work on convincing PSG's owners, Qatar Sports Investments, to execute his exit.