Lionel Messi waiting for Barcelona to secure key transfer before signing new contract

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According to a La Liga expert, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi will hold off on signing a new contract with the club until the Catalan giants secure this key transfer.

According to The Sun via Spanish football expert Graham Hunter, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is waiting on Barcelona to secure the transfer of Neymar before signing a new contract with the La Liga giants.

Neymar is once again at the centre of a major transfer saga this summer, the Brazilian superstar is angling for a move away from Paris Saint-Germain this summer and a return to the Nou Camp seems to be the attacker’s prime option.

Hunter revealed that Messi is central to Barcelona’s pursuit of Neymar, it’s understood that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will only sign a new contract with his boyhood club once the Brazilian star’s return is sealed.

Hunter made the revelation on Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk podcast, you can listen to why Messi could be the key to Barcelona signing Neymar here.

Neymar’s troubled situation with the French champions has put several of the world’s biggest clubs on red-alert this summer, according to Don Balon, Manchester City are keen on signing the Brazilian sensation, it’s understood that they’re prepared to offer a reported £179M (€200M) plus Leroy Sane in order to bring Neymar to the Premier League.

Barcelona will also face stiff competition for the star’s signing from Italy, according to Mundo Deportivo, Neymar’s father is set to meet with Juventus chief Fabio Paratici at some stage this summer to discuss a potential move to Turin for his son.

lionel messi neymar barcelona
Lionel Messi and Neymar during their time together at Barcelona.

Here’s what Hunter had to say on Messi’s influential role in Barcelona’s pursuit of Neymar:

“Messi is a central player in all of this.”

“Messi is not a stroppy player – people have portrayed him as such falsely. But when he sneezes, Barcelona catches a cold.”

“[Josep Maria] Bartomeu, the president, has said before he leaves – and he must quit the club in 2021 at the latest – he wants to leave Messi renewed once more.

“Whether Messi is saying ‘get me Neymar’ or whether he’s whispering ‘before we sit down to negotiate, I want the front line reinforced with Neymar’, the fact is: Messi wants Neymar back.”

Sky Sports revealed earlier this week that Barcelona made an offer of £90m plus two of their players for the PSG superstar, the huge package that the La Liga champions are offering shows just how badly they want the tricky attacker back.

Hunter also reiterated that Neymar was hugely successful alongside Messi during his time in Barcelona:

“He, [Luis] Suarez and Neymar – even though they’re different characters – are very friendly.

“Messi found a partner that understood him technically, who served him and who created masses of space.

“The last time Barcelona won the treble, they had that ‘MSN’ up front.

“It’s clear Messi believes his route back to the Champions League isn’t just Neymar specifically, but more people supplying goals around him.

“Messi is saying ‘if you want me to sign a new contract, first renew Neymar’.”

Barcelona would become clear favourites for the Champions League if they were to bring Neymar back to the Camp Nou this summer, the 27-year-old is one of the best players in the world and his addition would make Ernesto Valverde’s attack almost unstoppable.

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