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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  • Messi: PSG star Neymar not wanted at Barcelona by some Messi: PSG star Neymar not wanted at Barcelona by some

    Lionel Messi believes a return to Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar is "complicated" because some people do not want him back at the club.

    Neymar attempted to engineer a return to Camp Nou during the previous transfer window, just two years after leaving for the Ligue 1 side in a world-record €222million deal.

    The strained relationship between the two clubs was said to have impacted transfer discussions, however, and the Brazil international remains a PSG player.

    Messi starred in a front three alongside Neymar and Luis Suarez and they remain in contact, but the Argentina star is unsure if a reunion at Barca will be possible.

    "We talk often and we have a group chat with Luis Suarez," Messi told Buenos Aires radio station Metro 95.1. 

    "The issue of his return is complicated. Firstly, because it was difficult to see him leave, secondly because of how he left.

    "There are people from the club and members who do not want him to return. If it is for sporting reasons, Neymar is one of the best in the world, but I understand the other factors."

    Messi, presented with the European Golden Shoe for a sixth time this week, recently declared he intends to see out the remainder of his career at Barcelona.

    However, unlike fellow club icon Andres Iniesta, he has ruled out signing a lifetime contract

    "That was talked about a while ago, as was done with Iniesta and the others," he said.

    "I don't want a contract to tie me up because I don't know how I'm going to feel. I don't want to be [under contract] if I'm not well.

    "I'm going to compete as long as I feel good physically, but obviously I would stay a lifetime."

    Messi also opened up on his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo, who he competed with for team and individual honours for just short of a decade during the Portuguese forward's time at Real Madrid.

    Ronaldo moved to Juventus in 2018 and Messi admits Barca's Clasico showdowns with Madrid have lost some lustre as a result.

    "Yes, it was good when he was in the Spanish league," Messi said.

    "It made the Clasicos more special and gave them more value."

  • Dembele appeal rejected but winger available for postponed Clasico Dembele appeal rejected but winger available for postponed Clasico

    Barcelona's appeal to have Ousmane Dembele's two-game ban reduced to one has been rejected by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

    Dembele was sent off in the closing minutes of Barca's 4-0 LaLiga win over Sevilla this month following a confrontation with referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz, who had just given debutant Ronald Araujo a red card for a foul on Javier Hernandez.

    Barcelona's initial appeal against Dembele's red card was dismissed and he was ruled out of the club's next two league matches.

    With the France forward seemingly set to miss the Clasico against Real Madrid, which had been scheduled for October 26, Barca then attempted to have his ban halved.

    Their efforts proved in vain but Dembele will now be available for the first LaLiga Clasico of the season, with the fixture having been postponed due to safety concerns amid the ongoing political tensions and protests in Catalonia.

    Instead, the former Borussia Dortmund star will miss Saturday's match against Eibar and the meeting with Real Valladolid a week on Tuesday.

    The Camp Nou Clasico appears set to be played on December 18 after both Barca and Madrid proposed the date on Friday.

    Dembele has made three league appearances for Barca this season, scoring once - against Sevilla.

  • Umtiti and Junior fit to return for Barcelona at Eibar Umtiti and Junior fit to return for Barcelona at Eibar

    Samuel Umtiti and Junior Firpo have been passed fit to play a part in Barcelona's LaLiga clash with Eibar on Saturday.

    Centre-back Umtiti is yet to feature this season and has been out for the past six weeks with a foot injury.

    Meanwhile, versatile left-back Junior last featured in the 2-0 win over Getafe on September 28, scoring his first Barca goal, before a hamstring complaint.

    Both players were named in Thursday's travelling squad and then took part in Friday's training session ahead of the early kick-off on Saturday.

    The LaLiga champions, who are second in the table after three straight wins, confirmed the duo had been cleared to play.

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