Barcelona VP Jordi Cardoner: 'No One on the Board' Has Called for Neymar Return

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistOctober 19, 2018

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 7: Neymar Jr of Paris Saint Germain  during the French League 1  match between Paris Saint Germain v Olympique Lyon at the Parc des Princes on October 7, 2018 in Paris France (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Barcelona vice-president Jordi Cardoner has said the club's board has not discussed the idea of re-signing Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain, despite rumours linking the Brazilian with a return to Catalonia.

Cardoner appeared on SER Catalunya (h/t The Independent) on Friday and said it was Neymar's decision to leave the Camp Nou.

As a result, those in power at the club haven't shown the urge to finance a reunion:

"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 was the one who left, it would be different if we hadn't believed him and now we wanted to bring him back, but that's not the case.

"If we did want to sign him then the board would have to discuss it but until now no one has talked about it."

The Independent also cited a report from Mundo Deportivo earlier this week, which said Neymar had communicated to his old club that he wants to return "after becoming disillusioned with life in Paris."

Neymar left Barca in 2017 for a world-record fee of €222 million, and PSG would be willing to sell the player back to his former club for the same fee, per AS, via The Spanish Football Podcast:

The Spanish Football Podcast @tsf_podcast

Today’s 🇪🇸⚽️ frontpages... Diario AS say Neymar has Madrid & Barça all worked up as he could leave PSG for €220m next summer, while MARCA highlight LaLiga’s support for Breast Cancer Awareness. https://t.co/ETaFmCMXOw

Football Leaks (h/t Goal) reported last year that Neymar earns a total €36 million (£32.4 million) annual salary in Paris, which PSG have paid in addition to his world-record transfer cost since August 2017.

A reunion with Barca seems particularly at odds when taking into account the fact Neymar is soon due to face the club in court, as reported by Santi Gimenez of AS:

AS English @English_AS

Neymar and Barcelona will meet again… in the law courts https://t.co/K5FM0t5GYU Not exactly the setting you'd choose to discuss Ney's rumoured return to Camp Nou, writes @acaradeperro https://t.co/yf2BntchnY

In short, Barcelona denied Neymar the second instalment of a €40 million signing-on bonus he agreed to upon extending his contract with the club in July 2016—worth €26 million. Neymar left for PSG in August the next year, and his former bosses felt the forward did not meet the necessary requirements to justify the payment.

Notably, two of those conditions were that Neymar was not to discuss a transfer with any other club in July 2017 and that the payment would be made on September 1, 2017, to prevent him leaving that summer.

Sport's Tomas Andreu wrote that PSG agreed to insert a €215 million (£190 million) release clause in Neymar's contract, but that only comes into effect in the summer of 2020.

Sky Sports' La Liga expert Guillem Balague was saying as far back as March, just eight months after Neymar's arrival in Paris, that he desired more competition than he was seeing in Ligue 1.

Netherlands assistant manager Ruud Gullit recently appeared on beIN Sports and suggested Neymar's attitude has regressed in Paris after he struggled to impress in PSG's UEFA Champions League defeat to Liverpool:


"There's no way Neymar would have done that at Barcelona." #beINUCL #LIVPSG https://t.co/8ZNLizR4EO

Cardoner's comments may be a smokescreen to divert attention away from Barca's real intentions, but Neymar's lucrative exit and the fact it was his motivation to leave mean there's cause to believe they're true.