Lionel Messi wants Neymar back at Barcelona
Lionel Messi says he would “love it” if Neymar returned to Barcelona, and believes Antoine Griezmann would make a great team-mate too.
Brazil international Neymar left the Nou Camp last summer and joined Paris St-Germain for a world record fee of £200m.
But less than a year on, there is increasing uncertainty over the striker’s future at the Parc des Princes with Real Madrid and Manchester United both being linked with the player.
Messi forged a strong and successful partnership with Neymar at Barcelona and the Argentine is keeping close tabs on developments.
He told Mundo Deportivo: “I would love it if Neymar was to return, but it looks difficult.
“The truth is I wouldn’t like it if he went to Madrid.
“He is an exceptional player and if he was to come back to us it would be fantastic but it looks difficult.”
Messi, who is preparing for Argentina’s opening World Cup game against Iceland on June 16, also believes that Griezmann would be an ideal signing.
The France forward has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, who could activate the £89m release clause in his Atletico Madrid contract.
Griezmann has told close friends he wants to stay loyal to Diego Simeone and will sign a new contract with Atletico but Messi thinks Barca should not give up hope.
“With good players they’re easy to understand and Griezmann is one of the players that’s going through a great moment in his exceptional career,” he said.
“If he came, then the coach will already know how everything fits.
“We want to be the best team in the world and that is why we want to have the best players.”
Messi’s immediate concern is playing in his fourth World Cup but he has made it clear that he wants Barcelona to build on last season’s achievements when they won La Liga by 14 points but fell short in the Champions League.
“The Champions League is exciting for everyone, but we must always fight for all the titles. When the season begins we want to win everything, including the League and Cup, they’re also important for us.”