Joan Laporta has claimed that Barcelona tried to re-sign Neymar with the Brazilian also being keen, before he ended up signing a new contract at PSG.
Speaking to TV3, as relayed by the Metro, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has revealed that the club tried to re-sign Neymar earlier this year, insisting that the Brazilian himself was interested in a return to Camp Nou. However, a move failed to materialise, with the superstar signing a new contract at PSG.
Neymar had a memorable four-year stint in Barcelona, after having arrived from Santos in 2013. The Brazilian went on to form one of the deadliest attacking trios along with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, helping the Catalans to great success. The 29-year-old racked up a total of 186 appearances for the Catalans, plundering 105 goals and 76 assists, before leaving for PSG in 2017.
Having won two La Liga titles, three Copa del Rey trophies and a UEFA Champions League with the Blaugrana, Neymar had been constantly linked with a return to Camp Nou almost every transfer window after he joined Paris Saint-Germain.
And, it has now emerged that Barcelona did make an approach to try and sign the 29-year-old Brazilian international earlier this year. President Laporta has confirmed there were talks held between the club and Neymar, with the attacker showing an interest in the possibility of a return, but they led to nothing, given the Catalans’ poor financial state.
Neymar was "crazy" about a return to Barcelona this summer, according to Joan Laporta 👀 pic.twitter.com/wClkuyIhs1
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 7, 2021
“We tried to sign Neymar,” Laporta told TV3. “At that moment [after being elected in March], it seemed like an interesting signing. He got in contact. He was crazy about coming. We interpreted fair play in another way at the time. If we had known all the rules [in LaLiga], we would not have made that offer.”
While Neymar was keen on returning to Barcelona, he eventually ended up signing a new contract with PSG in May earlier this year. Soon after that, he would get a reunion with one of his ex-Barca teammates as Lionel Messi made the shock move from Camp Nou to Parc des Princes on a free transfer after the Catalans failed to renew his contract due to their financial plight.
The duo is yet to play together at PSG this season. Both have featured just once so far, in the contest against Reims before the international break. But Messi did not start the game and only came on as a substitute for Neymar in the second period.