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Zone Blitz: Are Barcelona doing the right thing by trying to re-sign Neymar?

By George Davis, Mariah Ramharack&Lance Whittaker July 18, 2019

It's said you should never go back to your ex but Barcelona and Neymar could be a re-marriage made in heaven.

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  • Suarez 'very happy' at Barcelona but MLS switch a possibility Suarez 'very happy' at Barcelona but MLS switch a possibility

    Luis Suarez is "very happy" at Barcelona but admits he is open to the possibility of joining a Major League Soccer club.

    The Uruguay international is in his sixth season at Camp Nou and has another full campaign left to run on his current deal.

    Suarez, who turns 33 in January, has been touted as a possible target for David Beckham's Inter Miami franchise ahead of their MLS debut next year.

    Several established stars have made the switch Stateside in recent years, including the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney, while talented youngsters have been lured from South America.

    "MLS is a competition which has grown a lot in the last few years and you can see that with the young players that have moved there in the last two years, above all the South Americans," Suarez told ESPN FC.

    "That shows that the league wants to grow and not just bring in players of a certain age that are going to retire there. They look for that mix to make the league better."

    Seattle Sounders midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro said earlier this month that international team-mate Suarez has discussed the possibility of joining him in MLS.

    The former Liverpool striker confirmed those talks took place and is not ruling out a move further down the line, describing the thought of playing in America as a "nice possibility".

    "I didn't commit to anything [with Lodeiro]," Suarez said. "I had a conversation with him. MLS is a league that any player would be interested in and I asked him about the competition and about his team-mates.

    "I have a contract with Barca and I am very happy here. In the future you never know, it's an attractive league.

    "Given that I have been lucky to have had success at the top level for a long time, what I would look out for next is stability for my family and the well-being of my children.

    "They would all make the decision along with me and the United States is a nice possibility."

  • Barcelona boss Valverde: Pique must focus amid Davis Cup commitments Barcelona boss Valverde: Pique must focus amid Davis Cup commitments

    Ernesto Valverde has no qualms with Gerard Pique's Davis Cup commitments but warned his star centre-back he will not play against Leganes if his focus is not on Barcelona.

    Pique has spent a large portion of the week travelling to Madrid due to the involvement of his company Kosmos in the revamped competition of tennis' premier international team event.

    LaLiga leaders Barca make the trip to rock-bottom Leganes on Saturday and Valverde has been speaking with Pique about his extra-curricular activities.

    "I have talked with him about this issue and I see him as being focused," head coach Valverde said.

    "If I don't think he's focused enough someone else will play. If he arrives in condition, he will be on the list. He has issues outside of football. Players are always blamed if they don't do anything else and only know football."

    Asked if Pique has permission to travel to Madrid again on Friday, Valverde replied: "If he travels, you will see if we gave him permission. We have to leave him alone, Saturday we have an important game."

    Valverde also insisted he is happy with the work of close-season signing Antoine Griezmann after it was suggested he performs better for France than for Barca.

    Griezmann has four goals and three assists for Barca in 11 LaLiga appearances this term and Valverde says the forward is offering plenty to the team.

    "I look at my team, what matters to me is how I see the team," he added. "I know there are many eyes on Griezmann but he is giving us many things in terms of work, goals and clarity of play. We think he can give us more."

    Ousmane Dembele has had a stop-start season for Barca but was involved against Slavia Prague and Celta Vigo before the international break.

    Valverde wants to see the exciting France forward get a long run of games under his belt.

    "I think it's important he has continuity in his daily work and gets playing time," he said. "Since his first injury last season against Getafe, trying to get him back quickly has been counterproductive. 

    "He's had several relapses or different episodes with different muscular injuries and hasn't been able to perform the way he would have wanted. 

    "We hope we can start getting some regular rhythm."

  • Pique's comments should be 'taken with tweezers' - Barcelona stars had no say in Neymar move, says Suarez Pique's comments should be 'taken with tweezers' - Barcelona stars had no say in Neymar move, says Suarez

    Luis Suarez says when Gerard Pique speaks "sometimes you have to take everything with tweezers" after the defender said Barcelona stars were ready to alter their salaries to accommodate the return of Neymar.

    Brazil star Neymar was heavily linked with a switch back to Camp Nou just two seasons after making a record-breaking €222million move to Paris Saint-Germain.

    However, Barca were unable to strike an agreement with PSG despite the best efforts of LaLiga's champions.

    Centre-back Pique said last month: "We didn't stump up money.

    "What we said to the president was whether we could change our contracts because we knew there was a Financial Fair Play issue... so we said to the president, rather than earn something in year one, we could earn it in year two or three or four."

    Star forward Suarez, who formed a devastating trio with Lionel Messi and Neymar at Barca, insists the players had no involvement with the talks and believes not everything Pique said should be taken at face value.

    "When Geri speaks, sometimes you have to take everything with tweezers," Uruguayan Suarez told Sport.

    "He has a lot of work and a lot of experience in making statements. In this case he knows and is aware that the players were totally out in the case of Ney.

    "We were willing to welcome him or any player who wants to come, but always oblivious to the case."

    Suarez also insisted everything is well with close-season signing Antoine Griezmann and his integration with Barcelona's squad.

    It was reported captain Messi objected to the signing of the former Atletico Madrid forward due to his desire for Neymar to return, although the Argentinian branded such suggestions as a "lie".

    Suarez said: "[His integration has been] spectacular, sometimes things are misunderstood. Both Leo and I and Geri himself welcomed him a year earlier, said he was a great player and was one of the best in the world.

    "He came from being world champion and we already praised him. Then we didn't know what was going to happen to him, we weren't sure he was coming this year.

    "We treat him as one more. It is also true that some have more affinity with some partners than others; in his case he gets along very well with the French players."

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