Lionel Messi doubts Barcelona commitment to Neymar return

Lionel Messi admitted he does not think Barcelona did “all they could” to bring Neymar back to Spain from Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

Neymar was the subject of one of the longest-running transfer sagas of the summer, with the Brazilian looking set to return to Catalonia two years after leaving for a world-record fee.

However, Sky Sports News reported two weeks ago that PSG’s unwillingness to lower their valuation, despite Neymar’s offer to pay £17.7m (€20m) towards securing a deal, ensured the move failed to materialise.

Messi, who formed an exhilarating attacking triumvirate with Neymar and Luis Suarez at Barcelona, would have liked to have seen the trio link up once more.

“I would have liked for Neymar to have returned,” Messi told Spanish publication Sport. “Honestly, I’m not sure if Barca did all they could to sign him but I know it is difficult to negotiate with PSG.

“I am not disappointed. We have a spectacular squad that can challenge for all, even without Ney.

“Neymar is one of the best in the world. With his level and sponsors, it would have been a big gain for the club.”

Messi is under contract until 2021 at Barca but has a clause inserted in his deal which could see him leave the Nou Camp for nothing from the end of the season.

However, the club have reiterated they remain confident their inspirational captain will stay beyond next summer, and Messi himself confirmed he has no plans to seek pastures new.

“Barcelona is my home and I don’t want to leave,” Messi added. “But I want to win. I want to win the Champions League, it’s been a long time since we won it.”

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