Neymar wants Barcelona and Barcelona want him. That’s according to Diario Sport, who report that the Brazilian has made it clear he wants to return to Camp Nou and that the Catalan club have begun to try to structure an operation in which that ambition can be realised. The behind-the-scenes activity has begun, with four actions key.
First is that Neymar delays the renewal of his contract with Paris Saint-Germain. The intention of the French club was to close the deal before the first leg of their Champions League semi-final with Manchester City, which takes place tonight.
Second is the Joan Laporta factor, with the president’s entrance on the scene breathing fresh air into the previously difficult relationship between PSG and Barcelona. His direct, simple style introduces the potential for previously impossible constructive negotiations.
Third is the fact that the move would have to happen this summer. Neymar’s contract in Paris expires on June 30th, 2022, so if he doesn’t renew his deal the club will have to sell him this coming transfer window or risk losing him on a free transfer.
Fourth is the audit Barcelona are expected to have completed by mid-May. The club won’t make any firm decisions until La Liga is completed on May 23rd, including the retention of soon-to-be free agent Lionel Messi. A pivotal summer is ahead for Barcelona.