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'Neymar is looking forward to playing again' - Barcelona target has become a stronger person, says father

9:53 AM EDT 8/9/19
Neymar - cropped
Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward will soon be back on the pitch and enjoying his football after a difficult few months, his father has said

Neymar's father says the Paris Saint-Germain forward has developed a stronger sense of resolve during a turbulent close season.

Problems in and away from football have affected the 27-year-old since winning a second Ligue 1 title in April.

The following month, a Brazilian woman accused Neymar of raping her in a Paris hotel room on May 15.

Neymar vehemently denied the allegation and judge Ana Paula Vieira de Moraes this week closed the case after investigators at a Sao Paulo police station and public prosecutors concluded there was insufficient evidence.

The investigation took place as rumours regarding a potential transfer for Neymar back to his former club Barcelona gathered pace.

Real Madrid have also been linked to the PSG star, who missed the Copa America due to an ankle injury that has prevented him playing a minute for over three months.

"My son has not played football for a while because of the injury that has kept him out since June, but during that time he has acquired great strength to overcome problems," Neymar Sr told AS.

"Life and football have taught him how to be a stronger person during moments of difficulty.

"He'll be back out on the field soon. As his father, it's a pleasure to see my son playing football. It makes me feel very proud.

"He'll be happy once he starts enjoying his football again."

PSG launch their Ligue 1 title defence at home to Nimes on Sunday.

Neymar missed last weekend's Trophee des Champions victory over Rennes due to suspension.

It remains to be seen whether he will be drafted back into the plans of the French champions, with the speculation surrounding his future continuing to rage.

It is understood that Barcelona will need to move out Philippe Coutinho in order to bring another Brazilian back onto their books, and that may leave the path clear for Clasico rivals Real Madrid to swoop in before the transfer deadline in Spain.

PSG have, however, made it clear that they will not be parting with Neymar without a fight, despite the obvious desire of the South American to move on.