Paris Saint-Germain and FC Barcelona must be feeling like a defender on the other end of one of Neymar’s many step overs and flip-flaps: Utterly confused.
The Brazilian forward turned his back on Catalonia this summer, making transfer history as he completed an astonishing £199 million (about $261 million) move from the Camp Nou to the French capital—more than doubling the cost of Paul Pogba’s £90 million move to Manchester United the summer before.
And Neymar has seemed to have settled in immediately, certainly on the pitch anyway. He has scored 12 goals in 11 games for his new club. Despite the acrimony with which he left Barcelona, Neymar has remained close with his former colleagues. He has already met up with Gerard Pique, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez since leaving.
In one of these meetings, according to Spanish publication Sport, Neymar suggested to his ex-teammates that he would like to return. “Would you take me back?” is the gist of what the 25-year-old is said to have asked.
Barcelona has done pretty well without him, really. The team sits at the top of the Spanish La Liga, eight points clear of Real Madrid, and is heading for the knockout stages of the Champions League. But the attacking trio of Neymar, Suarez and Messi—known as the Trident—was one of the most lethal and menacing line-ups in recent history.
During Neymar’s last season at the Camp Nou, they scored a combined total of 111 goals in all competitions. Only money, it seemed, could and would separate them.
But, now, Neymar has reportedly already grown tired of the lack of competition in the French Ligue 1. PSG is undefeated, top of the table and four points clear of a depleted Monaco in second. Neymar reportedly skipped the 5-0 win over Anderlecht in midweek to make sure he was fit enough to feature for Brazil through the international break. Brazil plays Japan on Friday and then travels to London to face England at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.
The possibility of Neymar returning to Spain has been widely publicized in the past week, but with varied destinations. According to Marca, the prospect of Neymar joining Barcelona’s biggest rival in Spain, Real Madrid, is not an “impossible dream.” Many in the Spanish capital see the Brazilian as the perfect successor to Cristiano Ronaldo when he eventually retires.