According to various sources, Barcelona legend Lionel Messi has urged the club to force the return of their former star Neymar Jr. from his current club, Paris Saint Germain (PSG).
Spanish football expert Graham Hunter of the Transfer Talk podcast reports, via Sky Sports, that Messi is the “driving factor” behind Barcelona’s bid for the Brazilian superstar who is apparently unsettled at PSG right now. Hunter said that Messi has requested Barcelona to try and sign Neymar this summer, provided they want him to renew his current contract at the club.
“Messi is a central player in all of this. Messi is not a stroppy player – people have portrayed him as such falsely. But when he sneezes, Barcelona catches a cold,” he was quoted as saying.
“It’s clear Messi believes his route back to the Champions League isn’t just Neymar specifically, but more people supplying goals around him. Messi is saying ‘if you want me to sign a new contract, first renew Neymar’.”
He further added: “He [Messi], [Luis] Suarez and Neymar – even though they’re different characters – are very friendly. Messi found a partner that understood him technically, who served him and who created masses of space. The last time Barcelona won the treble, they had that ‘MSN’ up-front.
Hunter also revealed that Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele are the two main Barcelona players who could be used in a player-plus-cash deal for the 27-year-old Brazilian.
“[Philippe] Coutinho is somebody I’m informed PSG do want. They are playing hard to get, but they do want Coutinho. [Ousmane] Dembele is somebody that Barcelona would trade because there’s no starting place,” he said.
Quotes via Sky Sports.