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11 Jul 2019, 12:45 IST


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FC Barcelona v FC BATE Borisov – UEFA Champions LeagueWhat’s the story?Former FC Barcelona president Joan Gaspart appears to support the idea of Neymar Jr’s return to Camp Nou, stating that if the Brazilian is desperate to make it right with the club, they should not hold his exit against him forever.In case you didn’t know…Rumors of Neymar’s desire to return to Barcelona have been doing the rounds since he signed for Paris Saint-Germain, but they intensified when a host of personalities, including Blaugrana president Josep Bartomeu, confirmed the forward’s desire to come back to Catalunya.The 27-year-old, who is currently recovering from an injury, skipped the first day of pre-season training for PSG on Monday, further re-igniting rumors that he is set for a transfer. The forward’s father claims his son had permission for the absence, but the Ligue 1 champions have denied the same and insisted that they would mete out a suitable punishment for his absence.Furthermore, PSG sporting director Leonardo has opened the door for Neymar to leave as long as the right offer comes in, admitting that there was a superficial contract with Barcelona over the player’s signature.Neymar bitterly ended his relationship with Barcelona by transferring to PSG for a record 222 million euros in 2017.The heart of the matterIn an interview with Cadena SER’s ‘La Graderia’, Gaspart insisted that the Catalan brigade would applaud Neymar if he scores at Camp Nou despite the manner in which he left them two years ago.He said (via Sport English), “Neymar is an exceptional player. We didn’t like the way he left at all, but PSG did everything they had to. They offered him better financial terms. We didn’t like that, and it disgusted the fans.”“Now they’re saying that Neymar wants to come back to Barça and he knows he made a mistake by leaving. We were disgusted by his actions that day but if he’s desperate to return and show he was wrong, what can we do? Hold it against him forever?”Gaspart concluded, “In Neymar’s case, there could be a question of pride which comes with the player admitting he was wrong to leave. However, the board at Barça won’t judge you on your pride, but whether you win titles or not. If Neymar arrives and scores three goals, the stadium will applaud him.”

What’s next?A deal for Neymar is unlikely to be clean between Barcelona and PSG, with the French giants probably looking to recoup their €222 million if the Brazilian chooses to leave this summer.Recent reports suggest the Catalans are looking to offer player plus cash to help the transfer, with the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Samuel Umtiti believed to be the possible stars considered for the exchange.

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