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Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

'I Could've Brought Neymar Back!'

Former FC Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal has made the shock claim that he was desperately close to bringing Neymar back to the Spanish giants, but the club ultimately decided to sign Antoine Griezmann instead.

'Neymar Formally Asked Me To Return To Barcelona'

The French forward joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid in 2019, but he was not necessarily the high-profile acquisition fans were dying to see at the time.

That same transfer window saw Neymar linked with a stunning return to the Catalan club, with reports at the time stating that the Brazilian thought he had made a mistake leaving the Spanish giants two years earlier.

Now, former Blaugrana sporting director Abidal has claimed he was close to luring Neymar back to the Camp Nou, explaining that it was ultimately Griezmann's big-money transfer that stopped the Paris Saint-Germain superstar's return in its tracks.

"Ten days before the end of the transfer window, I went to Paris to talk with Leonardo (PSG's sporting director) and I was with my CEO, and we were talking about Neymar," he told The Telegraph.

"I think if the CEO goes to Paris Saint-Germain, it's because we can sign him.

"If we didn't sign Griezmann before, I think 100% we could have re-signed Neymar because what we needed was a winger and when Neymar was in Barcelona, he was amazing.

"This is not about which player is better, it was what I thought was the position we needed at the time. The team needed a real winger. The president decided to sign Griezmann.

"One of the arguments against Neymar was that he had a court case against the club, so it's not easy.

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"They said he would have to stop the court process if he wanted to come back. That wasn't my problem because I was not at the club when that dispute happened. In my view, I could sign the player, but it didn't happen."

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