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Carles Alena: Neymar Choosing Real Madrid Transfer over Barcelona Would 'Hurt'

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 4: Carles Alena of FC Barcelona during the Club Friendly   match between FC Barcelona v Arsenal at the Camp Nou on August 4, 2019 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Barcelona midfielder Carles Alena would be disappointed if Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar opted to join Real Madrid instead of returning to the Blaugrana.

Neymar continues to be linked with a PSG departure, having joined the club in 2017 for a world-record fee from Barcelona. His ex-employers are said to be interested in re-signing him, as are Barca's great rivals Real Madrid.

Speaking after the Blaugrana's 4-0 friendly win over Napoli on Saturday, Alena said it would be galling to see Neymar in Madrid's white jersey, per Sam Marsden of ESPN FC:

"It would hurt if Neymar went to our eternal rival, especially after playing [for Barcelona]. We hope that he comes back. He's a spectacular player, one of the best in the world. If he comes back it would be an amazing signing, it would be an incredible way to close the transfer window. He would make us all better."

Per Marsden, Alena is not the first Barcelona player to speak about the possibility of Neymar's return:

Samuel Marsden @samuelmarsden

Barça Neymar charm offensive continues, this time from Aleña, who says it would hurt if he went to Madrid (also some Valverde on Aleña, who did well in 4-0 win over Napoli) https://t.co/AMiUfeA2Aa

Marsden noted Barcelona remain interested in Neymar despite the fact that he chose to leave the club in the summer of 2017.

It's added Real Madrid are also admirers of the Brazilian and with the club frustrated in their pursuit of Manchester United man Paul Pogba, they will try and get a deal for Neymar done before the transfer window closes.

PSG's sporting director, Leonardo, recently revealed discussions about sellng the 27-year-old are now "more advanced than before," per BBC Sport.

It's also been reported in France that PSG would prefer to see Neymar join Real Madrid over Barcelona:

B/R Football @brfootball

PSG would be more likely to allow Neymar to leave for Real Madrid than for Barcelona, reports @le_Parisien https://t.co/PHr3JwqCkV

B/R Football @brfootball

Choose your adventure. https://t.co/5CB8ISRNDh

French football journalist Jeremy Smith relayed the latest reports from L'Equipe regarding the attacker:

Jeremy Smith @jeremysmith98

Neymar's entourage had made contact with Real at the beginning of the summer but nothing since, with Real more interested in Pogba and a play for Mbappe in 2020. But the 7-3 Atletico defeat and the PSG-Barca inertia has seen Real look into a possible deal again.

Speculation is likely to intensify regarding Neymar's future as the transfer deadline approaches for Spanish clubs. Although the Premier League transfer window closed on Thursday, La Liga sides have until September 2 to recruit new players.

Neymar appears to be at the top of the list of targets for Barcelona and Real Madrid. While the Brazilian has endured a tough year in terms of injuries, when he is on the field, he remains one of the best footballers on the planet.

Eleven Sports took a look at some of Neymar's best moments at Barcelona, with whom he won the UEFA Champions League, La Liga twice and the Copa del Rey on three occasions.

Eleven Sports @ElevenSports_UK

| 🤔 | Barcelona 🆚 Real Madrid Where will Neymar end up? https://t.co/n08cJg0oSg

Neymar was left out of the squad for PSG's first Ligue 1 game of the season; they start the defence of their title against Nimes on Sunday.

With speculation beginning to gather pace about a serious move from Madrid or Barcelona, there's a chance the Brazilian has played his final game for the Parisian giants.

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