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Football Reporting


Barcelona can only re-sign Neymar when his PSG contract expires, says presidential candidate

Emili Rousaud is convinced the Brazil star wants to return to Camp Nou, but they will have to wait until 2022 to land him

Barcelona will have to wait until Neymar’s contract at Paris Saint-Germain expires before they will be able to bring him back to Camp Nou, says Emili Rousaud.

The Brazil star, whose contract at PSG expires in 2022, has long been linked with a move back to the Spanish giants.

Neymar admitted that he wants to reunite with Barcelona star Lionel Messi in the near future, sparking talk of the Argentina international making a move to PSG.

Although the 28-year-old insisted this week that he has not considered leaving the Parc des Princes outfit any time soon, Barcelona presidential candidate Rousaud believes the attacker wants to return to La Liga.

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“We have been in contact with Neymar’s people and he made comments which someone interpreted as meaning he wants Messi to join him in Paris,” he told AS. “What Neymar was saying is that he wants to come back to Barcelona – like he said in the summer of 2019. Right now, we cannot pay his transfer fee so it will be at the end of his contract.”

Rousaud, who was a board member at Barcelona until the directors resigned in October, is confident the club can convince Messi to stay beyond this season. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner wanted to leave the Blaugrana in the summer transfer window, but decided to stay to avoid a legal battle with the club.

Although he believes making the team competitive would convince the 33-year-old to stay, the presidential hopeful warned Barca cannot afford to keep paying his current salary.

“What matters here is the sport project. When Messi said he was leaving, he didn’t say it was to do with money,” he said.  “He is the highest-paid footballer in the world, no one earns more than he does. He didn’t want to leave because he doesn’t earn enough, he wanted to leave because he wants to win trophies.

“He said so at the time: ‘We aren’t going to win anything’. He wants to play for a team where there is talent.”

He added: “Obviously, with the actual situation at the club Messi’s salary cannot be sustained. It’s unsustainable. An agreement would need to be reached. The project which we will present to him is an attractive one.”

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