Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal has today dropped a less-than-subtle hint that the club are still keen on a Neymar reunion.
Barca’s Neymar chase
Barcelona’s attempts to coax Brazilian attacker Neymar back to the club proved, in terms of longevity and intensity of rumours, the talking point of last summer’s transfer window.
Two years on from his La Liga departure, Neymar was hotly-tipped to make a return to the Camp Nou.
Despite having already added Antoine Griezmann to their attacking ranks, the Spanish champions had long been said to be eyeing a further splash before the close of the European transfer market.
PSG, however, proved an altogether-tough nut to crack for the Blaugrana hierarchy.
Though reports had been rampant that Neymar himself had his heart set on linking back up with his former club, and PSG having publicly scolded their star man for his behaviour, the capital outfit’s board stood firm in demanding a premium fee for a player whom they splashed out a world-record 222 million Euro on in 2017.
This eventually resulted in widespread confirmation late in August that Barca had come to the decision to call a definitive end to their chase of the Brazilian:
Barça sources have confirmed that they have formally rejected PSG’s last proposal, which consisted of 130 million euros, Dembélé on loan and transfers of Rakitić and Todibo. The operation is practically ruled out. [cat radio]
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) August 30, 2019
‘Proud to be able to coach Neymar’
Speculation over the months since, though, has seen questions raised regarding whether those in charge at the Camp Nou could yet rekindle their pursuit of Neymar.
This led to Blaugrana boss Quique Setien recently being drawn on the possibility of the South American reinforcing his side’s frontline this summer.
And the Spanish tactician appeared to be in no two minds regarding Neymar’s potential return, explaining:
‘I love to watch and have great footballers and if I can watch Neymar every day, just imagine.’
As such, speaking during an interview with Mundo Deportivo earlier today, Eric Abidal, sporting director of the Catalan giants, was questioned on Setien’s comments.
Abidal, though, was quick to back the sentiments of the club’s boss, assuring that he is in ‘total’ agreement:
‘I totally agree.’
‘Quique would be proud to be able to coach a player like Neymar and the others here who are of such a high level.’