Messi hopes Neymar makes 'complicated' Barcelona return

Barcelona star Lionel Messi says he would like to see Neymar and former boss Pep Guardiola both return to the club.

Neymar spent four successful seasons at Barca, winning LaLiga twice and the Champions League once.   -  Getty Images

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

Neymar swapped Camp Nou for Parc des Princes in a world-record €222million move in August 2017.

The 26-year-old spent four successful seasons at Barca, winning LaLiga 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 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.

READ: Lionel Messi: 'I knew I wouldn't win Ballon d'Or'

"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 harbours hope of a future reunion with Pep Guardiola.

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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