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Doubts cast over Barcelona return for Neymar as former agent admits to talks with Real Madrid

Neymar’s former agent, Wagner Ribeiro, is not expecting a deal to be agreed in the next transfer window that will take the Paris Saint-Germain forward back to Barcelona.

A retracing of the Brazilian’s steps to Camp Nou has been mooted for some time.

Ever since a record-breaking €222 million (£199m/$243m) switch to France was completed in 2017, a South American superstar has been linked with a return to Spain.

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Barca have made no secret of the fact they would welcome the opportunity to draft a familiar face into their star-studded squad.

Discussions with PSG have, however, proved difficult in the past and the coronavirus pandemic has further complicated matters in the present.

Even the biggest clubs on the planet, who boast the deepest pockets, are going to find it difficult to finance big-money deals in the current climate.

With that in mind, Ribeiro doubts that an agreement can be reached that takes Neymar away from his contract at Parc des Princes and back to Catalunya.

He told Fox Sports: “I think Neymar will stay at PSG because the market is different.

“The economic world of football will change.”

Neymar PSG Real Madrid 2019-20Getty/Goal

Barcelona are expected to retain their interest in Neymar, but could face competition from rivals once an opportunity to do a deal presents itself.

The Blaugrana pipped Clasico foes Real Madrid to the 28-year-old’s signature when he left Santos in 2013, with the Blancos having kept him on their radar ever since.

Florentino Perez has never shied away from the fact he would like to make Neymar a ‘Galactico’ at Santiago Bernabeu.

He has done all he can to make that a reality, with Ribeiro revealing transfer talks were held again in 2019.

“I have been to Madrid several times because the objective of Florentino Perez was to recruit Neymar,” he added.

“Last year, in May, I was with him in his office. He told me that he had this dream of signing Neymar.”

Neymar is tied to a contract at PSG through to 2022 and has seen fresh terms mooted amid the regular rounds of exit talk that continue to rage around him.