“Neymar And Messi’s Return To Barcelona Would Be On A Free..”

Neymar || Barcelona President Joan Laporta || Messi

Barcelona President Joan Laporta has said Paris Saint-Germain’s pair Neymar and Lionel Messi’s only possibility getting back to Barcelona would be on a free transfer.

Laporta said it would make “no sense” to pay cash for players that both recently played for the club.

“Who doesn’t like Ney?” Laporta said when asked if he is a fan of the forward following reports he could come back to Barca.

“He is an exceptional player, but he has [three] years on his contract with PSG. He is effectively enslaved to money.

“The only way he could come back to Barca is for free. It would be irrational to pay a transfer fee for a player you have already had.

“Leo left how he left. We would all have liked him to end his sporting career here, but because of [LaLiga’s] fair play rules and because of PSG’s offer, it was not to be.

“If he wants to return one day, it would have to be for free. And the technical staff would have to decide if he fits the new project or not.”

Neymar, 30, signed another contract extension with PSG the previous summer, yet his drawn out future at the club has gone under investigation following Kylian Mbappe’s decision to sign an agreement extension.

Meanwhile, reports say Mbappe would like a more balanced squad than what is there now given their lack of success in Europe, while the French club’s owners have not been satisfied by his performances or his lifestyle.

Neymar has been at PSG since 2017, when the Ligue 1 champions paid a world record transfer fee of €222 million to activate his release clause and prise him away from Barcelona.

Messi, who will turn 35 in June this year, has one year to run on his agreement in Paris in the wake of joining from Barca the previous summer.

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Sources say, any decision on his future beyond then will come after the World Cup, which he will compete in with Argentina later this year.

Also, sources say Barca are pursuing other attacking targets, with coach Xavi Hernandez recently confirming interest in Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.

The Catalan club are also quick to sign a winger given the chance of losing Ousmane Dembele, who is yet to sign another agreement with his terms up on June 30.

Leeds United’s Raphinha is one choice, however a move for him has been confounded by the English club’s Premier League endurance. If they had been relegated, a €25m release clause would have kicked in.

However, any transfer business will first be depending on Barca bringing in cash to make room within their LaLiga-imposed spending cap, with Laporta rallying against the Spanish league’s regulations.

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