Barcelona chief plays down Neymar talks

    Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has shut down speculations linking the Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar with a blockbuster return to Camp Nou

    Neymar swapped Barcelona for PSG in 2017 for a record-breaking €222million deal but has been nostalgic to return to Catalonia over the past 12 months.

    Indeed, the Brazilian has been angling for a reunion with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, with the ‘Blaugrana’ reportedly laying the groundwork for their former stalwart’s return to the club.

    However, the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic has scuppered Barca’s efforts to lure the 28-year-old forward back home.

    PSG have been adamant they won’t discuss Neymar’s sale unless their €200million valuation of the player is met, making things difficult for Barcelona to get the deal over the line.

    Reigning Ligue 1 champions can rest easy now that the Catalans president Josep Maria Bartomeu dismissed rumors of the Brazil international’s comeback.

    “In this situation, it is unfeasible [Neymar’s deal],” Bartomeu said, as transmitted by the Express Sport.

    “The situation is what it is: the club lost €200m between March and June. And in the 2020/2021 season, we expected to raise €1.1 billion [in revenue], but surely we will have 30 percent less.”

    “If the pandemic situation does not improve, there will be no crowd [at the games], no museum, no stores, and money will continue to be lost.”

    “It forces us to be very rigorous in management: we must review which investments are essential and which can wait. You have to adapt.”

    Barcelona were also interested in acquiring the services of Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez, but they now seem likely to miss out on his signature too.


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