Football News

Barcelona targets Neymar and Lautaro Martinez not “impossible” to sign, says sporting director

By Ollie Thomas

Published: 18:26, 6 February 2020

Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal has suggested that Neymar could make a sensational return to the Nou Camp.

Neymar left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 but has constantly been linked with a move back and Abidal believes signing players such as the Brazilian, or Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez, is “not impossible”.

Will Neymar return to Barcelona? Five things to know…

  • Neymar enjoyed a hugely successful spell at Barcelona between 2013 and 2017.
  • The Brazilian won every trophy available to him, while also scoring in the 2015 Champions League final.
  • His world-record move to PSG has been plagued with controversy.
  • Many believe that having both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will lead to more drama as they both want the limelight.
  • And Neymar is the one most likely to make way, linked with a return to Barcelona.

Persistent injury issues and a plethora of reports suggesting Neymar is growing frustrated at PSG means there is some tension in the air between the superstar and the Parc des Princes faithful.

Following a summer fraught with rumours, he was relentlessly booed on his return against Strasbourg in September before scoring an incredible 90th-minute overhead kick to win the game.

Since then, he’s been back to his mesmerising best in the league, leading many to believe he could be about to head back to the club which helped catapult his career in Europe.

And it appears Abidal would not be against the idea of bringing him back to Spain, telling Mundo Deportivo: “It depends on planning, passports and many things.

“The important thing for me is the sporting aspect, trying to have a stronger team to reach our goals as a club.

“But having talented players like Lautaro, Neymar or others would always be good for the club.

“I don’t see it as impossible. We will try to work for that. The decision is always that of the player.

“If we can do that signing it would be good but we’re always thinking that Barca has the philosophy of seeing what happens in the B team and youth teams.”

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Martinez flies under the radar

Whilst, understandably, all the focus will be on Neymar following Abidal’s comments, Lautaro Martinez certainly deserves huge credit for what has been a truly under-appreciated season thus far.

Similar to this story, Martinez has seen all of the attention fall on his striker partner, Romelu Lukaku, following his big-money move from Manchester United in the summer. But the Argentinian has played his part.

Twelve goals and one assist in 20 Serie A appearances this season is a mightily impressive record and Martinez, just 22, seemingly has the world at his feet.

Given the ageing nature of their frontline, there could well be a big hole in the Barcelona side which will need filling in the future. Martinez could be the man for the job.