Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Ernesto Valverde Squashes Rumours Linking PSG's Neymar With Move Back to Barcelona

Ernesto Valverde Squashes Rumours Linking PSG's Neymar With Move Back to Barcelona

Neymar essentially forced his way out of the club by handing in a transfer request, with Barca eventually letting him go after PSG activated his €222 million release clause.

But a broken foot ruled Neymar out of the second leg of a last-16 Champions League tie with Real Madrid, and the 26-year-old is also a doubt for the World Cup.

His departure left a bitter taste in the Catalan giants' mouths, but Neymar apparently wanted to attain Messi's status at the French club, and was hoping being the main star at another club would elevate his chances of lifting the Ballon d'Or. Some analysts believe the constant talk about Neymar being in the shadow of former teammates Lionel messi prompted him to seek sojourn elsewhere with a view to maintaining and enjoying his identity.

The Brazilian swapped the Nou Camp for the Parc des Princes when he joined PSG in the summer for a world record transfer fee of £198m, and has settled into life in Paris well.

But Valverde rejected speculation Neymar could make a sensational return to Barcelona after a single season with PSG. He also didn't expect the level of Ligue 1 to be so inferior to La Liga.

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Balague told Sky Sports: "We're going to hear in the next few months, even next season, indicating Neymar wants to leave PSG, from different angles".

When quizzed about reports suggesting that Neymar is on his way back to Camp Nou, Valverde said: "It seems to be a fantasy and we do not know where it came from or where it will end".

Real Madrid have been the club most persistently linked with a move for Neymar, with Zinedine Zidane talking up the striker just this week.

Neymar is now recovering from an operation on his foot in Brazil after suffering a broken metatarsal last month.

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