Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has dismissed recent report that Neymar could leave Paris Saint-Germain and return to the Spanish giants as “fantasy”.
Seven months after he joined the club for a world record 222million euros, Neymar’s future has grown increasingly uncertain after PSG crashed out of the Champions League in the last 16.
In a rather shocking twist, Catalan based newspaper Mundo Deportivo claims Neymar, recovering from an ankle surgery in Brazil, has made contact with Barca for a sensational return.
Neymar, 26, reportedly explained he made a mistake in leaving the club, was wrong to want to ‘escape Lionel Messi’s shadow’, and has been disappointed by the standard of opposition in Ligue 1, AFP writes.
Asked about the reports in his pre-match press conference Friday, Valverde said: “It seems to me a fantasy and we do not know where it came from or where it will end.
“It is a fantasy and we are not going to speak about rumours when we know it would not end here.”
This comes amid reports that Neymar´s father has met with Real Madrid, who are ready to pay 400million euros to sign the mercurial forward.
Speaking on the speculation Friday, Real coach Zinedine Zidane: “Neymar could play in all the clubs because he is very good, like many players.
“I´m not going to talk about a player that is not mine. On the 400 million, they paid 220 million and when they bought me they paid 72.
“It seemed crazy to me and 10 years later they are paying 220 million. It may well be that in the next 10 years someone will pay 400m, or sooner, I do not know.”
There are suspicions however that Neymar´s courting of Barcelona may even be a tactic to justify a move to Real, seeing as the Catalan club are likely to reject any chance to re-sign him after their acrimonious separation last year.
For now though, the waiting game is on…