Reports: Barcelona to once again court Neymar this summer

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If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.

Barcelona will give bringing Neymar back to the Camp Nou another go this summer, according to reports by ESPN and Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo.

According to the reports, Barcelona wishes to shore up a replacement for Lionel Messi once the Argentinian declines, and they see 27-year-old Neymar as the perfect option. The Brazilian has had a rocky three years at Paris Saint-Germain after leaving Barcelona in the summer of 2017, with injuries and off-field incidents taking their toll. Still, his numbers on the pitch are undeniable, scoring 60 goals in 70 PSG appearances across all competitions. Since returning from his most recent injury – a hamstring problem – in mid-November, Neymar has scored in four straight league matches and also starred in the 5-0 Champions League drubbing of Galatasaray.

However, he has yet to deliver PSG its coveted Champions League success, with the club eliminated in the Round of 16 in each of his first two attempts. Injuries sidelined Neymar for three of the four total Round of 16 matches over those two campaigns, leaving his time at PSG largely unfulfilled. The French giants have drawn Borussia Dortmund in this year’s Round of 16, hoping to progress past that stage for the first time since Neymar’s arrival and potentially past the quarterfinals for the first time in club history.

The Mundo Deportivo report says that Barcelona will monitor Neymar’s performance and health over the latter half of this season before making any definitive decisions on a summer swoop, but the ESPN report seems to be more matter of fact, stating that Barcelona will indeed chase a reunification.

Speculating on the back of the reports, it is unlikely, as was the case last summer, that PSG will back down from the $246 million fee it paid last summer, wishing to recoup the entire sum in the event Neymar does depart. Obviously Barcelona will balk at that figure given Neymar’s character issues and injury history, but it’s likely a similar fee will be required for talks to progress.

It was widely reported that Barcelona was courting Neymar last summer, but PSG stuck to its guns and demanded full compensation for his signature, a valuation which Barcelona would not submit to.