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Neymar’s former Barcelona team-mate admits Camp Nou return would be ‘a little strange’

12:47 GMT+3 25/07/2019
Neymar PSG Barcelona
Sergi Samper has revealed his surprise at seeing the Brazilian linked with a move back to Catalunya, but has hailed the arrival of Frenkie de Jong

Barcelona bringing Neymar back to Camp Nou “would be a little strange”, says Sergi Samper, but a “solution” could probably be found if another superstar forward is added to the ranks.

Speculation regarding a shock return to Catalunya for the Brazil international forward continues to rage.

Paris Saint-Germain are not making it easy for the South American to secure a switch, but the transfer door has not been closed entirely.

Samper admits he is surprised to see Barca considering re-signing a player he once worked alongside, but can appreciate why such quality is being sought.

A product of the famed La Masia system who is now playing alongside Andres Iniesta and David Villa at Vissel Kobe told Sport of the Neymar rumours: “It would be a little strange but he's a great player, so anything could happen.

“If it's being written in the newspapers it means there's something to it.”

Samper added on the potential for Ernesto Valverde to have Neymar, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann at his disposal in 2019-20: “It's a little complicated for the coach but I'm sure he could find a solution.”

While a deal for Neymar remains purely speculative for now, one man who has already joined the ranks at Camp Nou is Frenkie de Jong.

Samper is expecting the Netherlands international to prove a shrewd addition, saying: “De Jong is a great player. No one doubts that and he'll adapt quickly.

“He's very talented and in that regard, it won't be a problem. He's compatible with other academy players. 

“His movement. He's very intelligent, how he protects the ball, how he runs, he's always in the right place, offering an outlet for his team-mates. He's very complete.”

Samper added on comparisons between De Jong and World Cup-winning Barcelona icon Sergio Busquets: “Against Chelsea, he played as a pivot.

“It's an option.”

De Jong, along with fellow new recruit Griezmann, is being eased into the Barca fold during pre-season competition.

The Blaugrana are due to be back in action against Vissel Kobe on Saturday, before wrapping up their preparations for the upcoming season with fixtures against Arsenal and Napoli.