Neymar to Barcelona? He can play where he wants – Sylvinho tips Brazil ace for La Liga return

Paris Saint-Germain ace Neymar could return to Barcelona over the course of the summer transfer window, according to Sylvinho.

The former Arsenal left-back knows the Brazil star from his days coaching the national team as an assistant of Tite, while he also had a brief spell in charge of Lyon in Ligue 1 last season.

Neymar left Camp Nou nearly three seasons ago in a world-record deal worth €222 million (£200m/$158m) but has persistently been linked with a return to Spain after a trio of disjointed seasons in France, where he has struggled with injury.

Despite these issues, the 28-year-old has managed to return 69 goals and 39 assists in 52 appearances with the Parc des Princes side, proof, says Sylvinho, that he retains the quality that prompted the Ligue 1 champions to spend lavishly on the forward.

And Sylvinho believes another move could be in the offing, despite the financial uncertainty that the coronavirus pandemic has brought upon world football.

“He can play with whoever he wants,” Sylvinho told Cadena SER. “Who can say that he will not return to La Liga or switch to another team. The only one who can do anything is him.

“The individual quality of the player is… mamma mia! He’s a great player.”

Neymar Barcelona

While Sylvinho’s experience in the Lyon dugout was short lived, the ex-Corinthians, Celta, Barcelona and Manchester City man retains the ambition for another top post.

“There are many factors that might influence my decision,” the 46-year-old explained. “I would like to coach in Spain. I did my coaching badges there when I was still playing.

“I’m a coach who works on all aspects of the game. But, first and foremost, my team must have a spirit and that must be evident on the field.”

Sylvinho, who has also held posts at several Italian sides as well as Serie A side Inter, managed only 11 matches in charge of OL, where he picked up only three victories in 11 matches, losing on four occasions.

He had a strong reputation as a player, enjoying his greatest successes at Barcelona, where he won three Primera Division titles and was a two-time Champions League winner with the Catalans, earning that title in 2006 and 2009.