Neymar returning to Barcelona would be incredible – Xavi

By Sports Desk July 11, 2019

Neymar returning to Barcelona would be "incredible", though former star Xavi insisted a transfer to re-sign the Paris Saint-Germain forward would be "very difficult".

LaLiga champions Barca have been linked to Neymar, who left Camp Nou for French giants PSG in a world-record €222million deal in 2017.

PSG sporting director Leonardo confirmed Neymar – who failed to turn up to the first day of pre-season training – is available for the right price.

Xavi played alongside Neymar before moving to Qatari side Al Sadd in 2015 and the 39-year-old told Movistar: "He would be an incredible signing.

"But I see it as being difficult, honestly. I think it's very difficult.

"We have seen so many things that I thought I'd never see though, such as PSG paying €222 million, so we'll have to wait.

"There's no doubt that he's one of the best players in the world, but let's see what Barcelona do."

While Neymar's future is uncertain, Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann is reportedly set to join Barca.

France international and World Cup winner Griezmann – who has a €120million release clause – will leave Atletico after five years and Barca are favourites to sign the forward.

"He's a great player, a world star," Xavi added. "He made a difference with Atletico Madrid and with France. He's an extraordinary player.

"It's still not official, but it seems like he's going to Barcelona. I think it'll be a great signing."

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    ROUND-UP

    - Barcelona are still trying to find a way to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain. According to Sky Germany, Barca are offering €100million plus two players, having given PSG a list of six that includes Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo and Malcom. That is up from the earlier offer of €40m plus two players. According to Sport, Barca have made Coutinho and Rakitic priorities to be sold.

    - After being linked to Bayern Munich, Callum Hudson-Odoi is set to re-sign with Chelsea. The Daily Mail report the 18-year-old England international will sign a five-year deal worth more than £100,000 per week to stay at Stamford Bridge.

    - Giovani Lo Celso apparently wants to join Tottenham, but Spurs are unwilling to meet Real Betis' £60m (€66.8m) asking price, according to The Sun, who say Erik Lamela could be added into a deal. Danny Rose could also reportedly leave Spurs and Sky Sports say PSG are interested in the left-back.

    - Arsenal have beaten their north London rivals to the signing of Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba, according to ESPN FC. Arsenal will complete the signing of Saliba for £26.9m (€30m) and loan him back to the Ligue 1 club despite late interest from Spurs, the report says.

    - Another reported Arsenal target, Wilfried Zaha, has told Crystal Palace he wants to leave, according to The Sun. Arsenal have reportedly had a £40m bid for the attacker rejected.

    - Bayern Munich are ready to meet Celta Vigo midfielder Brais Mendez's €25m release clause, according to Kicker. Mendez, 22, was handed a Spain debut late last year and scored six goals while providing seven assists for Celta in LaLiga in 2018-19.

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