Former Barcelona and Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has warned the Catalans not bring back Brazilian superstar Neymar to Camp Nou.
Barcelona have been advised against re-signing Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain next summer by former manager Louis van Gaal, who is of the belief that the Brazil international is “too individualistic”.
Neymar spent four successful years with Barcelona, having signed from Santos in 2013. The 26-year-old made 186 appearances for the Catalans, scoring 105 goals and winning two La Liga titles, three Spanish Cups and a UEFA Champions League trophy in the process.
The Brazilian attaker left Camp Nou for Paris Saint-Germain in world record €222 million deal in the summer of 2017. But there have been constant rumours that he is ready to make a return to Spain, having grown unhappy with life in the French capital, with Barcelona and Real Madrid touted as the most likely destinations.
However, Van Gaal, who managed Barcelona between 1997 and 2000 and during the 2002-03 season, said the Catalans would be better off not bringing the 26-year-old back to Camp Nou.
Speaking to Spanish TV show Porteria de Beteve (h/t Mirror), the former Manchester United manager said: “I think it’s not good for Barcelona, but that’s my opinion. Neymar is still a young player who can continue to develop. He must first learn to be a team player.
“Neymar is too individualistic, which is why I think Barcelona should be vigilant before deciding to get him back,” the Dutchman further added.
Since moving to France last year, Neymar has made just 46 appearances for PSG, having spent a good chunk of his debut campaign out on the sidelines with an injury. The 26-year-old has scored 41 times in total, 13 of which have come in 16 games in the 2018-19 campaign.
The 96-time capped Brazilian international’s stint with Les Parisiens has been tarnished with some controversies. His strained relationship with former manager Unai Emery, his tiffs with fellow strike partner Edinson Cavani have all contributed to him being unsettled at the club.
Earlier this month, Barcelona sporting director Pep Segura opened the doors for a potential return to Camp Nou for the Brazilian. He told La Vanguardia (h/t AS): “All players who are in the market are likely to come if they fit our needs.
“Today, Neymar is not in the market. If one day there is a possibility, does anyone believe that a club like Barca does not have to consider it? In the case of Neymar and anyone, we must give our partners the best.”
The 26-year-old still has four years on his €40 million-a-year contract with the French champions. And any return to Barcelona will have to involve a major pay cut for the Brazilian, while PSG too will look to recoup most of the funds that they shelled out to sign him last year.
It remains to be seen though, if the Spanish champions go ahead with their pursuit of their former superstar, or heed Van Gaal’s advice and decide to pull the plug on any potential return for the 26-year-old in the summer.