The pros and cons of Barça bringing Neymar back to the Camp Nou

The club knows any deal won't be easy to get over the line but he has the quality to revolutionise the forward line

Los pros y los contras del fichaje de Neymar por el Barça | Maite Jiménez

Neymar's possible return to FC Barcelona has caused a lot of people at the club to evaluate the pros and cons behind signing the Brazilian superstar. He left when PSG paid his €222m buyout clause at the start of Ernesto Valverde's reign and bring him back to the club will be anything but easy.

Albert Masnou

Here's a list of things which need to be addressed for a deal to happen:

THE CONS

1. Terrible relationship between Barça-PSG

In contrast to the mutual friendship Real Madrid has with the French side, making announcements to deny moves whenever a rumour appears, Barça have always clashed with PSG.

Over in France they believe Barça have made illegal approaches for several of their players without speaking to the club first. The crushing defeat in the Champions League final did little to mend any bridges either.

And lastly, there's an issue on an economic level. Qatar Foundation and Qatar Airways sponsored Barça for five seasons via QSI, the same company which owns PSG. The money men at the French club never accepted the deal because they felt it was reinforcing a rival side in the Champions League.

2. There's no buyout clause in Neymar's contract

Unlike in the €222m move which saw the Brazilian move to France, buyout clauses aren't required by law in Ligue 1. This means that any offer for Neymar would need to be accepted by PSG and there's no workaround option.

3. He's the second-highest earner in football

Neymar earns around €40m per season, €3m per month, and is just behind Messi in terms of the highest paid players in the world. 

He also brings in around €36m from ventures he has in Brazil and Qatar. Bringing Neymar in would smash the current pay structure and is part of the reason the squad didn't want Griezmann, who earns a mere €17m per season compared to the Brazilian.

The current plan is to reduce the overall wage bill but that will be difficult if they sign Neymar.

4. He left Barça through the back door

Neymar lied to FC Barcelona's board and made them believe his story during his final days at the club. He told them he hadn't spoken with PSG, despite having reached an agreement, and left during Barça's preseason tour of the United States under a cloud. Neymar didn't say goodbye to the fans and would need to ask for them to forgive him should he return. He's yet to play against Barça since joining PSG. 

Polls conducted over the last few days suggest the supporters would be open to Neymar's return and are happy to offer Ousmane Dembele in exhange, so maybe there are no hard feelings after all. He's spent plenty of time in the city visiting his former teammates though.

5. Legal issues are ongoing between Barça and Neymar

There are various issues between the player and the club. One is related to commission Neymar's father claims he is owned after signing a new deal at Barça just months before they joined PSG. Neymar Sr claims he is owed €30m but Barça refused to pay. He decided to sue them. There's still a legal matter spending between Barça and Neymar over his original move from Santos. That case remains ongoing too.

Neymar en un partido con el PSG la pasada temporada 2018-19 | AFP

THE PROS

1. Fits in well with the current dressing room

Despite Neymar moving away from the club the Brazilian remains in close contact with many of his former teammates. His relationship with both Messi and Suarez is particularly strong. Neymar is also very close to Pique, as well as the other Brazilians at the Camp Nou.

Rafinha also attended his last birthday party in Paris. A few days later and the midfielder would be ruled out for the rest of the season with an injury. Despite the legal issues, Neymar is also good friends with various members of the current board, including the president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

2. He knows the club well and what is expected of him

Neymar knows all about wearing the Barcelona shirt and the demands which come with that. He would have no issue slotting in the team, the style of play and being part of the group. He brings goals and incredible skill to the table and has a great understanding with Messi. When it's necessary, he's capable of the leading the team as well.

3. He wants to return and regrets leaving

It didn't take long for Neymar to realise he'd made a mistake by signing for PSG. Playing in front of 10,000 fans and against overly physical opponents, as well as disputes with his teammates, it hasn't quite gone to plan. There's no competition either. He's currently banned for the start of next season's Champions League and Ligue 1. Neymar will also miss the French Super Cup. 

4. Mbappé has taken over as PSG's leader

Due to injuries and bans, Neymar hasn't hit the heights expected of him at PSG. This has opened the door for another promising youngster, Kylian Mbappe, to lead the way and become the face of the team. Mbappe finished as the top scorer in the competition and was neck and neck with Messi in the race to win the Golden Shoe.

Meanwhile Neymar has made the headlines for the wrong reasons. The last time was when he left Paris before the end of the season without the club's permission.

5. Now he could be ready to replace Messi

Neymar arrived at the Camp Nou as a 22 year old with the world at his feet. The idea behind his signing was that he'd eventually go on to replace Messi in the first team. The Argentine was 27 at the time and his level was in no danger of dropping. Now he's 31 and whilst he might have three or four world class seasons left, it might be Neymar's time to shine.

The Brazilian is 27 himself now and could lead this team alongside Messi. Neymar's level might have dropped a little since he joined PSG but there's a belief he could rediscover his best form back at the Camp Nou.

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