Barcelona talisman, Lionel Messi has revealed that he thought Neymar would he making way to Real Madrid after Barcelona failed to land him.
The five-time Balon D’Or winner feared that the Brazilian who was desperate to move away from the Parcs des Princes could be lured with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu if the folks at the Nou Camp failed to make any headway with his transfer.
Neymar on different occasions announced his intention of moving elsewhere in a period of intense speculation that spanned throughout the summer transfer window. However, the former Barcelona forward will still feature for the Parisians this term.
Eternal Spanish rivals, Barcelona and Real Madrid were both in the market for the player but none could meet PSG’s outlandish price for the player.
In what was a tight transfer race between both clubs, Messi said he thought the Galacticos who are the verge of a massive rebuild made a number of summer signings in Hazard, Jovic and Eder Militao could pip his side to the signing of the former Santos player.
“I honestly thought that in this market, if he did not come here, he would go to Madrid,” the Argentina International told radio station RAC1.
“He was really looking forward to leaving and making a change, and he thought that Florentino Perez and Madrid would do something to sign him.”
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Neymar left Barcelona under controversial circumstances in 2017 and Messi believes that the PSG forward now regrets the decision.
“I think so [he regretted the decision], shortly after he left he realised that he was wrong and that he had made a bad decision. It would be necessary to ask him but, knowing him and seeing what happened, I think so [he regretted leaving].
“Having had him on the team would have given us more options but I understand that the signing of Neymar is not only looked at for sporting reasons but also for having left the way he did. There are those who didn’t want him to return – it’s understandable. It was complicated.”
He left the Camp Nou after helping Barcelona stage a miraculous 6-2 comeback against his present club with rumours at the time suggesting he was leaving because he no longer wanted to be under the shadow of Messi.