Barcelona megastar Lionel Messi has expressed doubts over his club’s efforts in getting back Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain and said he would have liked to have the Brazilian forward in Camp Nou again.
"I would have liked for Neymar to have returned. Honestly, I'm not sure if Barca did all they could to sign him but I know it is difficult to negotiate with PSG,” Messi told Spanish publication Sport. "Neymar is one of the best in the world. With his level and sponsors, it would have been a big gain for the club," said the Argentine captain.
Messi, however, expressed his happiness over the current Barcelona squad saying the club was up to challenge everyone. "I am not disappointed. We have a spectacular squad that can challenge for all, even without Ney,” he said.
Neymar left Barcelona to join PSG two seasons ago for a world record fee of €222 million. But after the two seasons during which he had to endure several spells on the sidelines due to injuries, the Brazilian star made apparent his desire to return to Barcelona, triggering hectic parleys between the two clubs for a transfer.
But the talks did not materialize into Neymar’s return to Barca as the two clubs failed to agree on a fee. According to reports in Paris, the move to bring back Neymar to Barcelona started with a text message exchange between him and Messi.
The two football superstars are believed to have remained close friends following Neymar's departure in 2017 and Neymar told Messi that he had grown weary of life in Paris. As a result, the Argentine replied him with a single message, which read, ""We need you to win the Champions League again".
But now Messi's own future at Barcelona has become a topic of speculation after a report last week revealed there's a clause in his contract which allows him to leave at the end of each season if he so wishes. The Argentina international would just have to communicate his desire to move on before the end of May.
"Barcelona is my home and I don't want to leave, but I want to win. I want to win the Champions League, it's been a long time since we won it," Messi was quoted as saying.