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‘Half of Barcelona fans wouldn’t want Neymar back’ – Del Bosque would have shunned signing

12:41 BST 05/09/2019
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The former Spain and Real Madrid boss says he would not have looked into re-signing the Brazil international had he been calling the shots at Camp Nou

Barcelona may have wanted Neymar back over the summer, but Vicente del Bosque claims half of their fan base would have opposed a deal and says he would never have considered re-signing the Brazilian.

Those at Camp Nou spent much of the last transfer window endeavouring to put an agreement in place for a familiar face.

Neymar had made it clear that he wanted out of Paris Saint-Germain, with a return to Catalunya after two years in France his preferred choice.

Real Madrid were also said to be keen on doing a deal for a player who has previously starred in La Liga, but the Blancos also had to explore other options once it became apparent that PSG would not be dropping their demands.

Former Real and Spain boss Del Bosque can appreciate why Neymar was sought after, as one of the finest players on the planet, but says concerns over the 27-year-old’s attitude would have had him looking at alternative targets.

He told Estudio Estadio: “I think it would have been good for the Spanish league if he had come back but if I was a coach of a club I wouldn’t have brought him back.

“Whilst I’ll say he is a brilliant player, I don’t think very highly of him for other reasons.”

Del Bosque believes his concerns would have been shared by many supporters at Barcelona, with there likely to have been plenty of opposition to a big-money deal had it been pushed through.

The 2010 World Cup-winning coach added: “With Barcelona he did not behave well, in fact he behaved badly, very badly.

“If you surveyed Barcelona fans I’m sure that more than half of them wouldn’t want him back. There’s a reason for that.”

Barca are now looking to chase down a third successive Liga title without Neymar, with arch-rivals Real expected to once again be their closest challengers.

“Real Madrid are a work in progress with plenty of questions being asked and this has to do with the strength of their squad,” said Del Bosque.

“Barcelona are suffering with [Lionel] Messi and [Luis] Suarez missing but they will recover as will Madrid when [Eden] Hazard is back to full fitness.”

Both Barca and Real have already dropped points in 2019-20, with the two Clasico giants boasting just two wins between them through the opening three rounds of fixtures.