Joan Laporta would love to sign Neymar according to Marca. The move would be an extraordinary coup, strengthening Barcelona immensely and giving Lionel Messi a big reason to stay at Camp Nou. The Brazilian’s name has been frequently linked with a return to Barcelona in recent days as his contract negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain, his current employers, have been dragging on without resolution.
The chances him of trading Paris for Barcelona this summer are practically non-existent, however. It would take a serious financial outlay to recruit Neymar, a tall order for a club over a billion euro in debt. Catalunya Radio yesterday indicated that Barcelona would be willing to pay PSG between €70m and €80m for the player they sold back in 2017 for €222m, but Marca report that would be insufficient. They claim it would take €150m.
That’s without even taking into account Neymar’s salary, currently in the region of €70m per season. Barcelona can’t match that amount if they intend on holding on to Messi, and would need the Brazilian to take a significant pay cut were he to return to Barcelona, something unlikely given PSG will reportedly keep his salary as is. After Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Bayern Munich, a game PSG lost but still progressed to the semi-final after, Neymar said he’s content with life in Paris.
Perhaps the most likely way Barcelona could sign Neymar would be if both parties waited until the summer of 2022. They wouldn’t have to pay a transfer fee then as that’s when his current deal in Paris expires, and Barcelona’s income would be in a healthier position should covid-19, as expected, be under a semblance of control. Neymar withstanding pressure to renew from PSG for a whole year will not be easy, however.