'We would love him back' - Messi hopeful Neymar can make 'complicated' Barcelona return

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The Blaugrana captain says he would like to see both the Brazilian and former boss Pep Guardiola come back to the club in the near future

Lionel Messi would love to have Neymar back at Barcelona but admitted Paris Saint-Germain are unlikely to let their star asset leave.

Neymar swapped Camp Nou for Parc des Princes in a world-record €222m ($253m, £200m) move back in August 2017.

The 26-year-old spent four successful seasons at Barca, winning La Liga twice and the Champions League once, but a desire to step out of Messi's shadow is believed to have motivated his unexpected exit.

Speculation persists that Neymar could yet seek a return to the Blaugrana and his Brazil team-mate Arthur, who linked up with Spanish champions at the start of the season, said this week he was "praying" for the rumours to become reality .

Messi shares a similar view but holds reservations over the likelihood of PSG sanctioning the transfer.

"I see it as complicated," the Barca captain said in a wide-ranging interview with Marca .

"We would love him to come back for what he means, both as a player and for the locker room.

"We are friends, we have lived very nice moments, others not so much, but we have spent a lot of time together. However, I find it very difficult [for him] to even leave Paris.

"PSG are not going to let Neymar get taken away."

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner also still harbours hope of a future reunion with Pep Guardiola.

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Guardiola, now in charge at Manchester City, has previously claimed his only route back to Barca would be as a youth coach, but Messi would appreciate the opportunity to play under the Catalan once more.

"Although it is difficult, I would like to work with Guardiola again," he said.

"He is one of the best coaches in the world. That's why I would like [him to come back], but I'm telling you that I see it as complicated."

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