Barcelona captain Sergi Roberto said he has spoken to Neymar about a possible return to the club for the Paris Saint-Germain forward.
ESPN reported this week that Neymar was keen to rejoin Barca — who he left to join PSG in 2017 — but there was division within the Catalan club over his signing.
Barcelona received a financial boost on Friday when they confirmed a deal to sell 29.5% of their digital content hub Barca Vision, allowing them to register their new signings — and, sources told ESPN, make further additions to the squad.
“It excites me because he is a former teammate who is a friend, and I shared a lot of good things with him over many years,” Sergi Roberto told the newspaper Sport when asked about Neymar. “When he was in the side, they were some of the best years I’ve had in the Barca first team, we won everything.
“He’s a player who is different to the rest. I’m sure he would bring us a lot. But in the end it’s not me who decides. Those responsible for deciding whether he comes or not will decide what’s best for the club. What we want is to have the best team possible.”
Sergi Roberto admitted that he had talked to the Brazil star, but would not reveal details of the conversation, saying “it is private.”
Sources close to Barcelona have refused to categorically rule out a return for Neymar, but say that a deal would be extremely difficult, both financially and because of split opinion over a move.
Coach Xavi Hernandez is not in favour of signing the player, doubting whether he would fit into his new Barca team, while president Joan Laporta would support a deal.
Barcelona registered defender Ronald Araújo with LaLiga on Friday — and summer signing Ilkay Gündogan on Saturday — just hours ahead of their 2023-24 LaLiga debut away at Getafe on Sunday.
A financial shortfall had seen them unable to register new arrivals and contract renewals within LaLiga’s squad spending limits, until Friday’s €120m deal with two firms, LIBERO Football Finance AG and NIPA Capital B.V.