Lionel Messi admits he wanted Neymar at Barcelona this summer

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has acknowledged that he would have loved to see Neymar make the return to the Camp Nou during the summer transfer window. The Brazil international was heavily tipped to rejoin the Spanish champions from Paris Saint-Germain but ultimately, the Blaugrana were unable to strike a suitable deal with Les Parisiens.

Speaking to Spanish outlet Sport, Messi admitted that he would have welcomed the return of Neymar at the Camp Nou despite the attacker’s unceremonious departure a couple of years ago. He added that the Brazilian’s arrival would have enhanced the club’s prospects of meeting their objectives for the season but that was not meant to be.

Philippe Coutinho reacts after sealing the move to Bayern Munich

Brazil international Philippe Coutinho has admitted that things did not work out at Barcelona and he is now focused on succeeding with Bayern Munich. The Brazil international recently joined the Bavarian giants on a season-long loan from the Blaugrana but the Munich giants have the option of landing him on a permanent basis.

Speaking during his unveiling, Coutinho acknowledged that he did not have the best of times at the Camp Nou and he is looking to make amends after making the switch to the Bundesliga holders, he said: “Concerning Barcelona, things didn't work out the way we wanted. But that's the past. This is a new club, a big club, an important club. I hope I'll be here for a long time and win lots of titles.”

Barcelona legend praises the signings of Frenkie de Jong and Griezmann

Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta has praised the Blaugrana’s recruitment of Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann this summer. Jong was signed by the Spanish champions in January itself but the terms of the agreement meant that he would only join the club at the start of the summer transfer window. On the contrary, Griezmann’s switch from Atletico Madrid was more straightforward after the forward’s £108m release clause was triggered earlier this month.

Speaking to reporters, Iniesta hailed the qualities of De Jong and stated that the Dutchman can provide the benchmark for the club’s performances from the centre of the park. Elsewhere, the 2010 World Cup winner also praised Griezmann, who made the switch to the Camp Nou after many years of speculation, he said: “De Jong is an exceptional signing, an upward leap for the club, young, very talented and, if all goes well, will be a benchmark for the Barcelona midfield. I have said it before, Griezmann is an exceptional player, who knows La Liga and the team-mates he is going to have at Barça, so everything indicates that his career as a culé will be positive.”

Bartomeu dismisses speculation over Ousmane Dembele’s future

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said that Ousmane Dembele has the credentials to become a better player than Neymar and the club are prepared to stick with him for the long haul. The France international has struggled to make a huge impression for the Blaugrana since his £93m move from Borussia Dortmund but the Camp Nou giants are nonetheless keeping their faith in the forward.

Speaking to reporters, Bartomeu said that Dembele was recruited from Dortmund by viewing his potential and the Blaugrana are prepared to watch him grow into a world-class performer. When asked further about the futures of Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, Bartomeu added that the duo remains fundamental to the club’s plans for the forthcoming campaign, he said: “Dembele is young, talented, different. I consider him to be better than Neymar, he has a lot to grow, and we want him to do it here. Dembele and Coutinho are a fundamental part of the squad for the coach.”

Filipe Luis speaks on the future of Neymar amid Barcelona return talk

Brazilian defender Filipe Luis has said that the return of Neymar to Barcelona would be considered as a shock, although it should benefit the Spanish champions. The Brazil international has experienced a mixed set of fortunes since making the world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain two years ago and he has recently been tipped to head back to the Camp Nou.

Speaking to Globo Esporte, Luis said that he has no idea regarding the future of Neymar, who has bowed out of Copa America duty due to injury. He added that Neymar’s potential return to the Blaugrana can be regarded as a huge shock, though he should prove a great signing for the Catalan giants.

Messi apologises to the fans for Barcelona’s shock Champions League exit

Argentina international Lionel Messi has said that Barcelona are still recovering after the shock Champions League exit at the hands of Liverpool. The Blaugrana were favourites to reach the final after grabbing a 3-0 advantage at the Camp Nou but they produced a disastrous showing on the road where a 4-0 loss saw the Reds progress in their expense.

Speaking in a rare press conference, Messi said that his team are still recovering from the Champions League setback earlier in the month. He added that the Blaugrana don’t need to apologise for the defeat but rather for the failure to compete during the return leg at Anfield, he said: "We are still recovering from what happened in Liverpool. At least I am.

Theo Walcott hopeful that Andre Gomes and Kurt Zouma return to Everton

Everton ace Theo Walcott remains hopeful that the club can sign Andre Gomes and Kurt Zouma on permanent deals next season. The duo joined the Toffees on loan from Barcelona and Chelsea respectively last summer and played an influential part from the starting lineup over the course of the campaign.

McTominay believes Manchester United can still win at Camp Nou

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay believes the Red Devils have a good chance of overturning the 1-0 Champions League quarter-final deficit to Barcelona when they face them at the Camp Nou next week. The Red Devils started the home leg of the quarter-final tie on the backfoot, and this allowed the Blaugrana to open the scoresheet through a Luke Shaw own goal in the 12th minute after some fine game play between Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Thereafter, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side sought to play with a positive mindset which restricted the threat from the Blaugrana, but they failed to test Marc-Andre Ter Stegen in the opposition goal through the entire game. Speaking after the match, McTominay said that the Red Devils probably offered too much respect to the opposition and that eventually cost them in a 1-0 loss.

Ernesto Valverde Praises Crucial Win over Real Betis

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde claimed that the 4-1 success over Real Betis was a crucial step in the right direction for the Catalan club. Barcelona have moved closer towards the title after a favourable set of results. Apart from watching Barcelona claim a big win over Real Betis, who have been in a recent form throughout the campaign,Valverde also witnessed Atletico Madrid drop three crucial points in the 2-0 loss against Athletic Bilbao. As a result, Barcelona have been able to open up a 10 point advantage at the top with 10 games left in the campaign.

After a mediocre 2017-18 campaign, the club are looking set to win the title for the second consecutive campaign. Barcelona have been unable to win the league title only once since the 2014-15 season. The decline of Real Madrid since the summer has been a major help for Barcelona, who are set to cruise to the title in the remainder of the campaign. Barcelona were able to enjoy this strong result against Real Betis thanks to the brilliance from Lionel Messi, who came in with a hat-trick. Luis Suarez was able to score the other goal for Barcelona just after the hour mark, while Loren Morón came up with a consolation for the home team.

Ernesto Valverde says Lionel Messi’s Argentina return was inevitable

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has said that Lionel Messi’s return to the Argentina fold was inevitable despite his recent reluctance to play for the national team. The Blaugrana star made himself unavailable for the South American nation shortly after a disappointing summer World Cup where they were ousted at the round of 16 stage.

Thereafter, there had been concerns whether Messi would have any intention of returning to Argentine duty but he has eventually ended the speculation by making a comeback for the forthcoming international friendlies. When asked on the same, Valverde admitted that there were no surprises and the question would rather have been presented to Lionel Scaloni, who is currently the head coach of Argentina. He said: "It's a question that concerns the Argentine coach. Messi's call, he escapes from my field. That Leo was going to return, we all knew, sooner or later. We see it naturally and I do not care at all, it's no change from other years."

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