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It would be “easier for Lionel Messi to go to PSG than for Neymar to return to Barcelona”, claims Wagner Ribeiro, with two transfer sagas being stirred by the close confidant of the Brazilian superstar.

The South American forward currently plying his trade in France has been linked with a return to Camp Nou for some time.

Barca have made no secret of the fact that they would welcome a familiar face back onto their books, with the Catalan giants in need of inspiration after enduring a humbling end to their 2019-20 campaign.

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Interest in reacquiring Neymar was expected to be stepped up in the current window, but attention appears to be drifting elsewhere due to the financial constraints as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

PSG have also stated on a regular basis that they have no intention of parting with their prized assets. Ribeiro believes his friend will be staying put as a result, with any Messi reunion needing to take place at Parc des Princes.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has seen his future at Barca called into question, amid concerns over the direction in which the club is heading, and PSG would form part of an elite group of clubs that could finance a deal if the Argentine were to be made available.

“Neymar is happy and I think he will stay at PSG for at least two more years,” Ribeiro told Veja. “Today, without a doubt, it is easier for Messi to go to PSG than for Neymar to return to Barcelona. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. I’m serious, you can’t doubt Qatar‘s economic power.”

Ribeiro concedes that Neymar was prepared to throw open the exits doors in Paris at one stage, but he is now feeling settled at the 2020 Champions League finalists and has no desire to push for a move elsewhere.

“There was a time when he was sad because of his injuries,” added Ribeiro. “At that time he was open to leaving, to return to Barcelona or going to Real Madrid. Not today, you can see his joy.

“I meet with him: living in the city of light, where everyone wants to stroll around, enjoying French cuisine, living in a beautiful home, with friends and family close by, playing in one of the best clubs, with everything a person needs and likes. What reason would he have to leave PSG today?”

While tipping Neymar to stay put, Ribeiro allows believes that the talented 28-year-old is capable of forcing his way into contention for future Ballons d’Or.

He added: “Today he is superior to Messi and Cristiano, technically and physically. So he is worthy. Certainly, the prize will be between Neymar, [Kylian] Mbappé, and [Robert] Lewandowski.

“The Champions League final will define the best in the world. It will be a very difficult final, because Bayern have a great team.”

PSG, who have reached a Champions League final for the first time, will face German giants Bayern Munich at the Estadio de Luz in Lisbon on Sunday.


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