Lionel Messi: I thought Neymar would join Real Madrid

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has revealed he thought former teammate Neymar would join Real Madrid this summer.

The Brazilian star had been heavily linked with a summer exit from Paris Saint-Germain with a multitude of reports outlining the interest from his both his former club and Madrid.

Neymar joined the Parisians in a world record €222m from the Blaugrana in the summer of 2017 but has reportedly grown unhappy in the French capital and was seeking a return to Spanish football.

However, despite his reported insistence on a return to La Liga and PSG even declaring they would consider his sale, he remained at Thomas Tuchel’s side for this campaign.

“He really wanted a transfer this summer, we knew he wanted a change and would want to leave Paris,” Messi told an interview with Catalan Radio Rac 1.

“I believed that Florentino (Perez, the president of Real Madrid) would make an attempt to sign him for their club.

“In fact, I thought that if we (Barcelona) could not sign him then he would go to Madrid.”

Neymar joined Barca from Santos in the summer of 2013 and spent four years at the club, and has been whistled by his own fans in Paris this season due to his apparent insistence on exiting this summer.

Tags Lionel Messi Neymar