For the second time in recent weeks, Real Madrid have denied interest in Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar. There is no plan to make an offer for the Brazil international, even after Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Juventus on Tuesday.
The Spanish club has issued a statement on its official website:
"In the face of the constant reports linking PSG's Neymar Jr. to our club, Real Madrid C. F. wish to clarify that the club has no intention of making any offer for the player.
"The two clubs enjoy an excellent relationship and, as such, if Real Madrid were at any stage to consider securing the services of a PSG player, they would approach the club in the first instance.
Real's latest rebuttal of rumours linking the club with Neymar comes on the heels of Globesporte (h/t Marca) having reported the club had dispatched Juni Calafat to discuss a potential deal with Neymar Sr., the player's agent and father.
A covert attempt to negotiate appearing in the press, even as a rumour, explains the portion of the statement stressing Real would contact PSG first to talk about any possible transfer.
This is also the second attempt by Real to cool speculation, following a similarly worded statement issued on July 3. Los Blancos responded to a report from TVE (h/t Jack Rathborn of the Daily Mirror) which detailed a mooted bid of £275 million for Neymar.
Real's statement called the report "entirely false information."
A second denial, so soon after the first, may actually further fuel speculation given that most clubs wouldn't bother to address the many transfer rumours that appear in the press throughout the summer.
The gifted South American has repeatedly been linked with a move to the Spanish capital, despite moving to PSG for a world-record transfer fee last summer.
Rumours are sure to persist since Ronaldo inked a four-year contract to become a Juventus player. It means Real have lost the biggest star in their current batch of 'Galacticos,' as well as their chief source of goals.
Ronaldo scored 41 last season, helping Los Blancos win the UEFA Champions League for the third year in a row and the fourth time in five seasons.
Real have already been linked with a £150 million bid for Chelsea's Eden Hazard, per the Daily Mail's Matt Barlow. Meanwhile, James Robson of the Manchester Evening News has reported both Neymar and his PSG team-mate Kylian Mbappe are "being considered by Real president Florentino Perez."
Regardless of the number of official statements released, this already looks like a transfer saga set to stay in the headlines for the majority of this summer and beyond.
Real may be keen to keep things quiet and respectful, but sooner rather than later, the club is going to have to be bold if it truly hopes to pry Neymar out of the Spanish capital. PSG have the financial resources to put up a strong fight to keep their marquee attraction.