The Neymar Jr. to FC Barcelona is about dead as the 29-year-old on the verge of signing a contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain. However, there was a time in which the rumor was coming to fruition.
In an interview with The Telegraph, former Former FC Barcelona technical secretary Eric Abidal revealed that the Spanish side would’ve brought Neymar back to Barça had they not signed Antoine Griezmann in 2019.
Abidal states that days before the summer transfer window closed, he headed to Paris to discuss the potential Neymar deal with PSG sporting director Leonardo.
Furthermore, the 41-year-old added that Barça needed a winger. Nonetheless, former club president Josep Maria Bartomeu decided to head in a different direction, ignoring those calling for a Neymar deal.
“Ten days before the end of the transfer window, I went to Paris to talk with Leonardo, and I was with my CEO [Oscar Grau], and we were talking about Neymar,” Abidal said. “I think if the CEO goes to Paris Saint-Germain, it’s because we can sign him. If we didn’t sign Griezmann before, I think 100 percent we could have re-signed Neymar because what we needed was a winger, and when Neymar was in Barcelona, he was amazing.”
“This is not about which player is better; it was what I thought was the position we needed at the time. The team needed a real winger. The president [Josep Maria Bartomeu] decided to sign Griezmann.
In the end, the deal fell through. Although there was resentment from the PSG fanbase towards the superstar forward, Neymar seems to have rebuilt the relationship with the supporters.
As for Barça, they’re looking to rebuild with their new president Joan Laporta.
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