Gerard pique says Neymar should 'speak up' if he wants Barcelona move
Gerard Pique has said he would be "delighted" if Neymar returned to Barcelona, but the Brazilian must "speak out" if he wants to push through a move from Paris Saint-Germain.
Neymar only moved to PSG two years ago in a record-breaking £200 million transfer. At the time, many at Barca were unhappy with the way Neymar left the club, with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu saying "the way things were done was not right," per Marca .
Despite largely impressive performances on the pitch in the French capital, Neymar's relationship with PSG has soured recently, and sporting director Leonardo said last month the 27-year-old "can leave PSG if the right offer comes in," per Marca .
A return to Barcelona is the obvious move for the Brazil international:
Pique is excited by the prospect of having him back at the Camp Nou, but he added Neymar has to make it happen, per Sam Marsden of ESPN FC:
"There are people that weren't happy with how he left, but there are a lot of people who were very happy with his performances. It's a complicated operation. He's a PSG player, and the squad that we have is good enough to win every trophy.
"If the opportunity comes up, you know the relationship I have with him. I would be delighted if he came back, but he's a PSG player. A personal opinion doesn't change anything.
"It has to be Neymar who speaks out. Of course we speak with him, but it's not right to reveal private conversations. If he wants to speak out or give his opinion, he has to come out and say it. He's a crack on and off the pitch, and we're waiting to see what happens. I can't say anything else. "
As Neymar still has three years remaining on his contract at PSG, the French champions are unlikely to take a cut-price deal for their star asset and will want to at least recoup the £200 million they paid for him in the first place.
Barcelona could surely not afford to make such an offer at present given they already spent big this summer on Antoine Griezmann (£107 million) and Frenkie de Jong (£67 million).
According to Ben Hayward of the
Evening Standard , they initially hoped a players-plus-cash deal involving Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic would tempt PSG, but it did not.
Now they want to sign him on loan with a view to making the move permanent next summer, but PSG would rather deal with another club given the bad blood between them and Barca, Hayward added.
The transfer window in Europe is still open for almost another month, so there is time for a move to be completed.
However, reports Neymar wanted to leave PSG emerged at the beginning of the summer and no progress has yet been made.
If that continues for much longer, the former Santos man could find himself in the position of still being at PSG when the transfer window closes, so it may well take him speaking out to get the ball rolling.