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Barcelona play down hopes of Neymar return: PSG won't want to sell him!

10:05 SAST 2019/02/06
Neymar - cropped
The Brazilian star has been linked with a return to Barca, but the Catalan club's president says that it's not currently an option they're considering

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu had played down the prospect of Neymar returning to the club in the summer transfer window.

The Brazil international quit Barca in 2017 as he decided to make the move to France in a world-record deal worth €222 million (£195m/$260m).

As reported by Goal, Barca would be interested in re-signing Neymar, with the player having been unhappy at Parc des Princes and looking for a way out.

Indeed, his former team-mate Lionel Messi went as far as saying he would "love" to welcome the former Santos star back at Camp Nou but that a transfer would be complicated.

And Bartomeu has echoed those statements, suggesting that PSG would not be interested in a sale and that the player or his representatives have not yet made any contact with Barca over a potential return.

"I have never spoken to them, nor have the father or player called me to return to Barca. They have not called," Bartomeu told El Partidazo de COPE.

"We are preparing for next season and the name of Neymar is not on the table.

"We are talking about a PSG player and I do not think that PSG want to get rid of a player like him."

Neymar has scored 20 goals in 23 games for the Parisians this season but had his season interrupted by a metatarsal injury suffered in the Coupe de France win over Strasbourg on January 24.

He is expected to be absent for at least 10 weeks and will miss both legs of the Champions League last-16 tie against Manchester United.

The forward celebrated his 27th birthday in Paris on Monday, with the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Dani Alves in attendance, and said in his speech that he wishes for a "new metatarsal" as the ideal present.

Next up for Barca is the Clasico clash with Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg on Wednesday, while PSG are also in cup action as they face Villefranche.

The Ligue 1 leaders have played two matches since Neymar's injury, beating Rennes 4-1 before suffering their first defeat of the league season to Lyon a week later.