'I would have loved it if Neymar came': Lionel Messi opens up on Barca's failure to re-sign PSG ace
Neymar became the world's most expensive player when he swapped the Camp Nou for Paris Saint Germain two years ago but, despite achieving relative success on the pitch, his spell in the French capital has been blighted by negative media attention, a series of off-the-field incidents and several injuries which have restricted his playing time.Also on rt.com Chip off the old block! Mateo Messi adopts dad's trademark celebration in adorable VIDEO
It is a far cry from the Brazilian's heyday as part of an incredibly potent three-pronged attack leading Barcelona's line alongside Luis Suarez and Messi – but the latter made clear in an interview with Diario SPORT that he was open to a reunion and would have welcomed the Brazilian's return.
"I would have loved it if Neymar came. Honestly, I don’t know if the club has done everything possible to sign him, but I’m sure it’s not easy to negotiate with PSG," said Messi, via translation.
"I'm not disappointed. We have a spectacular squad and we can compete for everything, even without Ney. From a sporting standpoint Neymar is one of the best in the world. And from a marketing and sponsorship standpoint, the club would have made a jump."
However, the Argentine was quick to counter rumors that players within the club were actively petitioning the club to get Neymar's signature.
"We never asked for Neymar’s signing, we simply gave our opinion," he said.
"Am I in charge of things? It has been shown that is not the case."Also on rt.com 15 years of Messi magic: Leo’s best bits in a Barca shirt (VIDEO)
Messi's own contract with the club runs until 2021 but a recently revealed clause allows the player to leave for free at the end of every season and go to another club if he so desires.
This is similar to clauses inserted into the contracts of fellow Barca legends Andres Iniesta and Xavi, both of whom activated this clause to move to Japan and Qatar.
However, Messi says that fans don't need to panic about his future - so long as Barcelona continue to compete at the highest level.
"This is my home and I don’t want to leave, but I want to win."