Neymar’s father has said a report in Spain which claimed he has been begging Barcelona to re-sign his son from Paris Saint-Germain is “fake news.”
El Mundo published a story on Friday declaring that Neymar Sr. has been in touch with the Catalan club at least five times in an attempt to engineer a return to Camp Nou.
The report said the calls to Barca have been constant and added that a clause in Neymar’s contract would allow the Brazil forward to leave PSG for €160 million next summer.
However, in a post on social media, Neymar Sr. has attempted to discredit the information by labelling it “fake news” twice. Neymar, 26, became the world’s most expensive footballer when he quit Barca for PSG in a deal worth €220m in 2017.
Since moving to France, though, he has been regularly linked with a return to Spain, previously with Real Madrid but more recently with Barcelona.
Sources have stressed to ESPN FC throughout the season that Barca have not broached the idea of re-signing Neymar, with vice president Jordi Cardoner suggesting the way he left the club would count against him if he really did want to come back.
“He was the one who left,” Cardoner said in October. “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.”
There are also doubts about whether Barca could afford to re-sign Neymar. They spent the money they received for him on Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho and are in the expensive process of regenerating their stadium and the surrounding area.
Reports have claimed that PSG may have to sell either Neymar or Kylian Mbappe, a €180m signing from Monaco, in order to comply with UEFA’s financial fair play rules.
However, the Ligue 1 champions said in December that those claims were “erroneous and ridiculous allegations with the sole purpose of creating tension.”