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What’s next for Neymar? Why the PSG star could be headed back to Barcelona

In 2017, PSG bought Neymar from Barcelona for 222 million euros. With no shortage of funds, PSG saw Neymar as their star forward/winger, and a superstar that would increase ticket sales and overall revenue for the club.

Now, after just two years, it seems his time in France may be coming to an end, as talks of him returning to Spanish side Barcelona have come up.

Neymar’s time with PSG has been riddled with injuries and underwhelming efforts.

Neymar is a superstar who has had big games and superb goals, but a team owned by the State of Qatar, with seemingly unlimited funds, clearly has one goal: the UEFA Champions League Trophy. PSG has yet to win one. The club wins its domestic titles, but management surely wants more.

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PSG has talent all across the squad with players such as striker Edinson Cavani, star defender and fellow Brazilian Thiago Silva, and wonderkid Kylian Mbappé. With a stacked squad such as this, team owners and fans expect results, and this is where a leader needs to come in.

Neymar is one of the most talented footballers in the world, but he has not yet shown he can lead a team. After failing to advance deep into the Champions League in both his years with the club, some blame has to be put on Neymar, especially with his salary of 36.8 million euros. Clearly, the State of Qatar has slight reservations about Neymar as well if they are considering selling him.

Neymar started his career for Brazilian side Santos F.C. in 2003, playing in their youth academy. In 2011 and 2012 he won South American Footballer of the Year, and in 2013 he joined Barcelona. Neymar finished third in Ballon d’Or voting in 2015 and 2017, with the latter year being at PSG.

Barcelona paired Neymar with Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi, forming a big three that tore through Europe and won the Champions League in 2015.

Barcelona has been in talks to sign Antoine Griezmann from fellow Spanish side Atletico Madrid this summer. Griezmann is a world-class player, but he is not Neymar, and even Barcelona’s key man agrees.

Barcelona wants Neymar back and is even willing to give up one of their star midfielders in a swap deal that is not very common in soccer.

Kylian Mbappé is the most talented young player in the world, plays a similar position to Neymar, and is signed with PSG through 2022. PSG can reshape their roster around him and use the money they get in the sale from Neymar to buy new, complimentary players.

Both Barcelona and PSG would benefit from this deal which is why I believe if both club’s egos are put aside, it will happen.

PSG can be very happy moving forward, but even still, amidst injuries and blown leads, the club and fans alike may not be able to shake the thought of “what could have been.”