Barcelona were ultimately met with disappointment in their pursuit of Lionel Messi this summer, as the forward opted to join Inter Miami ahead of a return to Catalonia.
Barça, though, were recently handed the opportunity to secure the return of another former superstar in Neymar. Recent reports have suggested the Brazilian international is determined to return to his old stomping grounds, and is even willing to lower his salary.
However, according to Javi Miguel, Barcelona have no intention to bring back the former Santos whizkid. It appears the player is not included in Xavi’s plans for next season, even though he was once teammates with the current Barcelona head coach.
The manager had already confirmed as much in an interview earlier this month when he said: “In theory, he is not in our sports planning. I appreciate him enormously as a person, but he’s not a priority.”
Xavi and Neymar played together at Barcelona from 2013 to 2015, before Xavi eventually joined Al Sadd. But the Barça coach is not too keen on bringing Neymar back to Camp Nou and that could be due to multiple factors.
For one, Neymar, at 31, has left the best years of his career behind. Even though his performances at PSG have still been relatively impressive, the forward has struggled too much with injuries to be considered a viable option for Barcelona.
The PSG superstar also commands a hefty salary, which could be a burden on Barça even if it gets lowered. Not to mention, the forward probably would not fit into the side tactically, given that Xavi is looking for more of a long-term alternative for Robert Lewandowski.
To that end, Barcelona have made some grounds in their bid to sign Vitor Roque. They are expected to hold talks with Athletico Paranaense to clear the final details to seal the deal.
As things stand, two new midfielders are the top priority for Barça, along with Roque. Once those positions are addressed, they would potentially look for a new right-back. So, Neymar, as things stand, is a luxury signing that the La Liga champions can do without.