Neymar was warned by his former teammates two years ago that he was making a mistake by leaving Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain, but he didn’t listen.
The Brazilian forward said he wanted a new challenge, although the eye-watering sums of money in PSG’s contract offer presumably played a role in turning his head.
A move to the Parc des Princes also offered Neymar the opportunity to emerge from the shadow of Lionel Messi. He may have felt at the time that leaving Barça was his best chance to win a Ballon d’Or.
However, in the rankings for the 2018 Ballon d’Or, Neymar didn’t even make the top 10.
He finished 12th, behind the likes of Raphael Varane, Kevin De Bruyne, Harry Kane and N’Golo Kante.
- Neymar agrees to Barcelona's three conditions
- Neymar set to publicly apologise to Barcelona
- Neymar tells Barcelona players: 'I'm coming'
This may have been the moment that Neymar realised his move to PSG had been a big mistake.
Neymar has impressed at PSG - scoring 51 goals in 58 games, winning back-to-back Ligue 1 titles in the process - but, crucially, has failed in his main objective of delivering the French club its first European Cup.
Inspiring PSG to glory in the Champions League was his only hope of winning the Ballon d’Or, but they haven’t come close to winning Europe’s premier club cup competition over the past two seasons.
Fearing that he could be wasting the best years of his career, Neymar is now desperate to return to Barça this summer.
It’s been reported in recent days that he’s told Barcelona’s players: ‘Don’t worry, I’m coming’ amid the intense press speculation.
He is also set to publicly apologise to his former employers and declare that his move to PSG was a mistake.
Now, the Catalan newspaper Sport have exclusively revealed that Neymar and Barcelona have reached a verbal agreement over a contract offer.
The report claims that Neymar will sign a five-year deal with the Blaugrana, which would take him up to the age of 32.
His desire to return to the Camp Nou is so strong that he has accepted, without any hesitation, the conditions offered by Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Because Barça will be forced to cough up a huge transfer fee, Neymar did not want to jeopardise the transfer by negotiating terms.
Subsequently, his salary is set to be reduced by almost half, from €36.8 million per season to around €24 million per season - a figure close to what he was receiving before his controversial departure two years ago.
Sport add that Neymar’s priority is sporting rather than financial. He also wants to rediscover his love for the game in the place where he was happiest.
Real Madrid were prepared to offer Neymar more money but the South American would only consider a move to the Bernabeu if Barça decided they didn’t want him back.
Neymar is now waiting for the two clubs to reach an agreement - although this will be the more complicated part of the transfer.
Relations between the two clubs aren’t great and PSG will not allow Neymar to leave unless Barça are willing to splash out an astronomical sum of money.News Now - Sport News