Neymar best placed to succeed Lionel Messi at Barcelona, says former coach Cesar Luis Menotti

Ben Hayward
Messi still eager for his friend Neymar to return: Getty Images

Former Barcelona coach Cesar Luis Menotti believes Neymar remains the best-placed player to succeed Lionel Messi at the Catalan club.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward is set to be Barca's top transfer target this summer, along with Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez, and Menotti says the Brazilian has a slight edge on the Argentine.

"Rumours about Neymar's possible return and Lautaro's signing are on the front pages these days and I understand fans are excited," Menotti wrote in his column in Sport.

"The first thing I would like to say is that Barcelona must continue to strengthen an idea of play that they had with [Johan] Cruyff, up to [Pep] Guardiola and with the coaches who have followed their methodology."

And he added: "In a team that has a 'mother' idea and a [clear] functioning, it is much more likely that a great player will adapt. In that sense, we could say that Neymar has an advantage over Lautaro."

On which one Barca should sign, he wrote: "Either of the two players would strengthen Barca's play, but the only player who can win games when the team doesn't deserve it is already there and that's Messi."

Menotti is of the opinion that Neymar might be tired of life at PSG due to the uncompetitive nature of Ligue 1.

"The Brazilian forward is probably bored of football in Paris and now he needs another type of challenge," he wrote.

"Ney is still the player best placed to be the successor to Messi."

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