Barcelona have no plans to re-sign Neymar, despite reports this week that they are keen to bring the Brazil international back to Camp Nou.
He has been regularly linked with Real Madrid — who denied making a move for him in the summer — since leaving Barca for Paris Saint-Germain for €222 million in 2017, but Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo said on Wednesday that he has told Barca he wants them to take him back.
However, Barca vice president Jordi Cardoner said it is not an issue which has been broached by the club’s hierarchy.
“No one on the Barca board has talked about the possibility of bringing back Neymar, right now we can’t give an answer because no one has even mentioned it,” he told radio station SER Catalunya. “He was the one who left. It would be different if we hadn’t believed in him [and let him leave] and now we wanted to bring him back, but that’s not the case.”
Cardoner’s comments correspond with what sources told ESPN FC on Thursday that the club have not talked about the possibility of Neymar coming back, which means they have neither shut the door on a possible return nor are they encouraging one.
“If we did want to sign him then the board would have to discuss it, but until now no one has talked about it,” Cardoner said.
Another source told ESPN FC it would be difficult for Neymar to go back to Barca given the manner in which he left the club last year.
The PSG forward’s exit sparked a war of words between the player and Barcelona, with Jordi Mestre, the La Liga champions’ other vice president, criticising the way the deal was done.
“What hurt me the most was the way it happened,” he said earlier this year. “We were all on tour talking with him and his father, and they were not transparent.
“He played cat and mouse with us. He told us nothing. If he had done, PSG would have been able to buy him for less money and it would have cost us less to sign [replacements], too.”
Neymar has remained a regular visitor at Barcelona’s training ground, though, since moving to PSG, where he won the domestic treble last season.
As recently as August he was pictured at the Ciutat Esportiva in Sant Joan Despi with his former teammates, who always give him a warm welcome when he visits.
However, since Neymar left, Barca have since signed Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho to replace him, while this summer they added winger Malcom to their squad.