Barcelona could have done more to bring Neymar back: Messi

Barcelona (IANS): Barcelona star Lionel Messi feels that the Catalan side did not go all out to bring Neymar back to the club after negotiations did not materialise with the Brazilian forward's present club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

"I would have loved Neymar to have rejoined the club," Messi was quoted by Marca as telling to Sport.

"Honestly, I don't know if Barcelona did everything possible to ensure his return. However, it is certainly true that negotiating with PSG isn't easy.

"On a sporting level, Neymar is one of the best in the world. The club would also have taken a leap in terms of the level of image rights and sponsors,' the Argentine said.

Neymar cost PSG a world record 222 million euro in August 2018 when he joined the French club from Barcelona.

Asked if he had a say in Barcelona thinking to bring Neymar back, Messi said: "I never asked for the signing of Neymar. All I did was give my opinion.

"I'm not disappointed (that he didn't sign). We have a have a spectacular squad, which can compete for everything, even without Neymar."

There was a lot of talk over Neymar -- who hasn't had the greatest of time at PSG -- returning to Barcelona where he enjoyed a great partnership with Messi and Luis Suarez.

Messi was also asked about his future at the Spanish club, to which he trashed recent revelations over a clause in his contract that will allow him to leave Barcelona at the end of the season.

"This is my home and I don't want to leave. But I want to win," Messi said.

Messi denied reports he had used his influence to try and force the Barcelona board to push through the deal. "Here, it is not me that gives the orders," he said.

"We never said that he had to be brought in. We didn't make any demands."

"I don't know if the club (Barcelona) wanted it to happen. What I do know is that Neymar really wanted it. But I understand it is very difficult to negotiate with PSG."

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Friday Neymar "did everything" to force through a return to the Camp Nou in the close season, but his club could "not meet" the French champions' demands.

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