Neymar wanted Barcelona return before Messi left – Joan Laporta


Barcelona president Joan Laporta claims Neymar was very keen on returning to the Catalan club before it became clear they wouldn’t be able to hold on to Lionel Messi.

The Brazilian star spent four years at the Camp Nou, before controversially joining Paris Saint-Germain in a deal that broke the world record as the French side triggered his release clause at €222 million. In 186 matches in all competitions for Barcelona, Neymar scored 105 goals and produced 76 assists.

He was linked with a return a number of times, but PSG have already proven they aren’t to be bullied in the transfer market by anyone. Neymar signed a new four-year contract in May this year, with an option of one year more.

“We tried to sign Neymar,” Laporta told Catalan outlet TV3. “At that moment [after he was 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 La Liga], we would not have made that offer.”