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Barcelona were close to signing Brazilian superstar before move to Saudi Arabia – report



Photo by ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images

The recent summer transfer window brought the entourage of numerous players across the globe to the Catalan offices.

Barcelona were looking for strategic signings who could elevate their on-field level, and Neymar Jr was one of the biggest players to be linked with a return.

The Brazilian was looking for a way out of PSG and even dreamt of a move back home. However, talks collapsed in the end owing to Barcelona’s financial handicaps.

Only a loan was possible

According to reports from SPORT, Barcelona would have only signed the PSG star on loan or a minimum transfer operation.

They made all efforts required to do the former, even after he signed for Saudi giants Al-Hilal. However, the Middle Eastern-based club were unwilling to send the player on loan.

Deco maintained direct contact with the player to push for a return, even as late as August. Al-Hilal’s emergence on the scene, however, changed everything.

Neymar, for his part, deeply longed for a return to Catalonia because he felt it was wrong of him to leave the club. After his most recent injury, however, it appears that the paths of the Brazilian and the club will never cross again.

Neymar’s fitness troubles continue

At 31 years of age, many felt Neymar was taking a premature exit from top-flight football when he moved to Al-Hilal.

Since his move to the club, he made three league appearances and two AFC Champions League appearances for Jorge Jesus’ side. In that duration, he scored one goal and provided two assists.

His positive run unfortunately did not last long. The 31-year-old was stretchered off during the game against Uruguay on international duty, and subsequent tests revealed a torn meniscus and ACL.

Neymar will thus face between eight to ten months on the sidelines, putting yet another hurdle in his injury-riddled career. Barcelona, needless to say, will feel they dodged a bullet.

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