After a summer of intense speculation about Neymar’s possible return to Barcelona, it’s almost been refreshing to have a few months with the focus being on his exploits for PSG.
As the January transfer window approaches it’s only natural that the speculation will start to ramp up again, following on from talks breaking down in the summer after lengthy speculation, as reported at the time by Sky Sports.
There’s now been an update from Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal in an interview with Mundo Deportivo, and he certainly doesn’t rule out the possibility of trying to revive a deal for the Brazil international, suggesting he has what it takes to play for the club and will be a leading option for them if he carries on performing as he has.
Speaking about Neymar, he said: “A top player, who has a Barca philosophy and who is performing at a high level, will always be an option. From there, at the sports level we can make decisions, but the whole financial issue, there are things that you can reach and others that you cannot.”
He went on to add: “The future will say. If it continues at this level, because the season is very long, I will not say that it will be option number 1 but it can be a clear option.”
It’s still hugely ironic that Neymar went to PSG in an apparent attempt to escape from the shadow of Lionel Messi and become the major star at a club, only to be dwarfed by Kylian Mbappe, who has proven himself to be one of the best players in the world.
Neymar’s future could be impacted by what happens with Mbappe next season. A recent report from the BBC noted that Zinedine Zidane had claimed Mbappe had a dream to play for Real Madrid, so that might be a hint they’ll be trying their luck with a move at some point.
It’s unlikely that the Parisians would be open to losing their two star players in the same summer – it would show a major lack of ambition and they would be near-impossible to replace.
It’s not out of the question that Neymar could become unsettled at PSG if this speculation comes up again, but that needn’t put the wealthy Ligue 1 giants under too much pressure to just accept whatever bid comes along.
It will be fascinating to see what happens with both Neymar and Mbappe next summer.