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Barcelona 'unlikely' to sign Neymar
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07-Jul-2020, 06:18 pm

Barcelona 'unlikely' to sign Neymar


Neymar PSG Paris Saint-Germain 2019-20

Neymar's proposed return to Barcelona has essentially been ruled out by club president Josep Bartomeu, who says the transfer market will be negatively impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

Barca lured Neymar to Camp Nou from Santos in 2013 and he went on to help the club win eight major trophies, including two La Liga titles and the Champions League.

The 28-year-old scored 105 goals in 186 appearances for the Blaugrana in total, while forming a deadly attacking trinity alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

However, Neymar decided to leave Catalonia in the summer of 2017, with it suggested he was looking to emerge from Lionel Messi's shadow and stake a claim for the Ballon d'Or award.

The Brazil international became the world's most expensive player when he swapped Barca for PSG in a €222 million (£201m/$250m) deal, buthas since struggled to live up to that hefty price tag.

Injuries and off-field issues have overshadowed Neymar's time in the French capital, and headmitted last year that he would like to go back to Camp Nou to rediscover his love for the game.

Barca failed to re-sign their former talisman in 2019but continue to be linked with the PSG forwardahead of the summer transfer window, with Quique Setien's current squad lacking a spark in the final third of the pitch.

When asked if Neymar will be targeted when the market reopens, Bartomeu attempted to dismiss theongoing speculation by insisting that the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to prevent any big-money deals from taking place.

The 57-year-old told RAC 1: "Such an operation is unlikely becausethe situation of all the clubs in Europe is very difficult."

Bartomeu went on to address the criticism Barca have faced for selling Arthur Melo to Juventus in exchange for Miralem Pjanic, insisting the Bosnian midfielder had long been on the club's radar.

He said: "Pjanic is a player who has wanted to sign for us fora long time. Hewas highly sought after and there wasa Barca player who wantedJuve.But it is an exceptional situation.

"It is not to balance financesbecause we would have sold other players for whom we had offers.Arthur is a player who is highly valued."

Barca look destined to miss out on a third successive La Liga crown after falling four points behind arch-rivals Real Madrid in 2019-20, and it has been suggested that the average age of the squad is too high to continue competing for the top trophies.

However, Bartomeu insists the club has always valued its more experienced players, and that there is plenty of young talent coming through to supplant them.

“The squad is continually being renewed,"he added."I see Busquets, who has improved, Piquewith enormous desire, Suarez how he fights and Messi, needless to say.


Source : goal.com

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