Neymar wants Barcelona return, claims former team-mate Montoya

Neymar wants to return to Barcelona, according to his former team-mate, Martin Montoya.

The PSG superstar left Camp Nou in 2017, joining the French giants in a huge €222 million deal.

However, speculation since has continually linked him with a reunion with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, with whom he formed the fearsome 'MSN' attacking trident.

Nevertheless, Neymar's fine goalscoring form has continued apace in France, scoring 40 goals in just 44 games, and also providing 22 assists.

Montoya, though, thinks that the Brazilian, with whom he spent three years between 2013 and 2016, would jump at the chance to return to Camp Nou.

"I don't know, I think it is difficult to get done," Montoya told Goal when asked about a possible Neymar return.

"Paris is also a great team and I don't think they will let him to leave easily. Paris paid a big amount of money for him and I don't think Barcelona would pay the same price for him [to come back].

"I think Neymar wants to go back because he was really comfortable and adapted the three years he was at the club. He had a great connection with Luis Suarez and Messi, but I think it is very difficult for him to come back to Barca."

Montoya currently plays for Brighton in the Premier League but has lined up for both Barca and Inter Milan, with the two teams set to face each other in the Champions League later this week.

Martin Montoya GFX

And he believes that Mauro Icardi could spring a surprise on the Catalan giants, whom he regards as the favourites to win the competition, when the two go head-to-head, having scored eight goals in all competitions already this season.

"Yes, he is scoring a lot of goals for Inter in the last years, being the top scorer in the Serie A. He is going to be, well, he is already a world-class player," Montoya added.

"He is still young, so he keeps improving. He is playing Champions League now. I think he will be a reference player in attack.

"Barcelona is always Barcelona. They are one of the best teams and can beat you anytime. They have great players. Look at Tottenham. Tottenham is a great team and they were well beaten at Wembley. It is true all the away games are tough in the Champions League.

"The competition is very close, but I really think Barcelona is the favourite."

Enrique and Pep Guardiola were Montoya's managers at Barcelona, with the now-Manchester City manager's stock rising further after a move to the Premier League.

Now 27, Montoya looks back at Barcelona legend Xavi as someone who can follow in Guardiola's footsteps and become a world-class manager when he retires from playing at Al Sadd in Qatar.

"Yes, no doubt. He will be manager yes or yes, 100%," Montoya continued. "He used to be a leader as a player, exactly like Guardiola in his football playing career. He was talking a lot and a player who was already a leader.

"They are very smart, knowing what to do at every time. Xavi used to read the game perfectly and these are the kind of guys who become great managers."