The Brazilian is said to be unhappy and unsettled in Paris and is open to a return to the Nou Camp
Lionel Messi is understood to be a prime mover in plans to take Neymar back to Barcelona, and would be perfectly willing to welcome his former teammate back.
The Brazilian’s controversial world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 shocked football and created a huge degree of acrimony around the Camp Nou squad and hierarchy, but it hasn’t fully worked out in the manner the 26-year-old hoped.
With the move partly made so Neymar could potentially usurp Messi and Ronaldo as the best player in the world, he was not even on the shortlist for this year’s Fifa The Best Award, and is generally said to be unhappy and unsettled in Paris.
The player greatly preferred both his life and Barcelona and the Spanish league. Despite that ostensible rivalry between the two, however, Messi would bear no ill will towards Neymar and has been speaking with club officials about the benefits of taking him back.
The Argentine has recently been made captain and is taking on a much more senior role in general, having also become highly conscious of his legacy and the need to win more Champions Leagues.
Although he has personally won four, Messi feels that is actually underperformance given the club’s dominance of the Spanish league. The Argentine also feels that the 2014-15 side with Neymar and Luis Suarez was among his best at Barcelona, and believes it is logical they should want him back.
A huge sticking point is the financial situation at Camp Nou, with the high wage bill – partly constrained by Messi’s own demands – greatly limiting their transfer potential.
It is felt they would not be able to get anywhere near paying the £200m fee that PSG laid out for Neymar, but that is why some officials have broached the possibility of letting French international Ousmane Dembele go in the other direction. He has not proven as popular with the Barca squad as Neymar was in his time there.