Neymar’s potential Barcelona return is gathering momentum after presidential candidate Emili Rousaud made a bold statement regarding the PSG star’s future.
Rousard said he will take Neymar back to the Nou Camp if elected as Barca’s president – as long as the Paris-Saint Germain drops his lawsuit against the club.
Another top player is also being lined up for a move to the La Liga giants, according to Rousaud – although he did not reveal the star’s identity.
The entrepreneur made overtures to Lionel Messi, announcing plans to rename the Nou Camp after the Argentine star amid speculation he could leave the club.
And he also issued a warning to Ronald Koeman that the head coach could be replaced – claiming one of Europe’s top bosses was already being lined up.
Rousard said Barcelona “will sign two top players” – including Neymar – if he is successful in his bid to replace Josep Maria Bartomeu as president of the Catalan club.
The Brazilian forward left Barca to join PSG for £199million in 2017, but has been engaged in a legal battle with his former club over the payment of bonuses.
“We will sign two top players, one of them is Neymar,” said Rousard as he set out his intentions as Barca president, in quotes reported by Marca.
“We are working to bring him back to Barcelona … if he withdraws the demands he has against the club.
“We hope to be able to announce shortly the name of the other franchise player that we want to bring. It will not leave anyone indifferent. We have a direct line with the player.”
There has been much speculation that Messi will leave Barca when his contract expires at the end of this season, with Manchester City among his potential destinations.
But Rousard announced plans to hold a vote on renaming the Nou Camp after Messi, in an apparent bid to convince the 33-year-old how highly he is valued by the club.
He also said hinted he would bring Barcelona icons Xavi, Iniesta and Puyol back to the Nou Camp, clearly intending to sending a message that he means to forge links with the most successful period in the club’s history.
“We will hold a referendum for the stadium to be renamed Camp Nou – Leo Messi,” said Rousard.
“If we win, we want to count on Xavi, Iniesta and Puyol and establish a firm bond with the club, the team and La Masía.”
Barcelona are currently 13th in La Liga having lost three times already this season – although they are top of their Champions League having won all four of their opening games.
And Rousard warned Koeman that results would have to improve – while claiming he already had a replacement lined up for sporting director Ramon Planes.
“We respect Koeman a lot, but if he doesn’t continue, we have closed to one who is active and is training one of the best teams in Europe,” said Rousard.
On the subject of a sporting director, he added: “We have the best in place, but we cannot announce him yet because he is active.”
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