Neymar had always been a hot topic at FC Barcelona, even after his exit in the summer of 2017. He was even linked with a return to Camp Nou for the majority of his ongoing five-year spell at Paris Saint-Germain.
One such phase was in 2019 when Barcelona targeted a return of Neymar after struggling to find the right combination in the attacking department. The failure of Ousmane Dembele did not help their cause either, compelling the club to seek the possibility of re-signing the forward.
In an interview with BeIN Sports (h/t Mundo Deportivo), Brazilian footballing icon Kaka, who is a close friend of Neymar, has shed more light on the situation, going as far as to confirm the player’s desire to join Barcelona at the time.
“I’m close friends with Neymar. He had a hard time at PSG and had problems with the fans, so he wanted to return to Barcelona,” said Kaka.
However, the move did not materialise as Neymar opted to remain at PSG. The attacker even signed a contract extension in 2021, extending his stay in the French outfit for five more years.
Ultimately, Barcelona signed Antoine Griezmann in 2019, along with Philippe Coutinho in early 2020 – two investments that turned out to be disasters, in their own right.
Neymar, for his part, has struggled as well, especially after the return of Lionel Messi last year. The Brazilian was even linked with a move away from Parc des Princes this summer after falling out of favour at the club, primarily due to his injuries and a large salary packet.
However, Kaka confirms Neymar is currently happy at PSG and sees himself as a crucial part of the team’s future.
“Today he is happy. He thinks it is a long-term project. So year after year the team is getting stronger, they are building more cohesion to win something really important like the Champions League, but he is happy in Paris and in PSG,” Kaka added.