Neymar's Father Denies Barcelona Rumours; Son Is 'Very, Very Happy in Paris'

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIFebruary 17, 2019

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 19: Neymar Jr of Paris Saint Germain  during the French League 1  match between Paris Saint Germain v Guingamp at the Parc des Princes on January 19, 2019 in Paris France (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Neymar's father has denied rumours his son could return to former club Barcelona and has insisted he is happy at Paris Saint-Germain.

The Brazilian has been linked with a move to his former club, but Neymar Sr. has played down speculation he may leave the French capital, per Telefoot (h/t Sport).

"I have not had a single call with Barcelona, that's false. Of course Barca are a great team. We were all happy there. And it's evident that when you talk about transfers, Neymar's name comes up. It's impossible to leave a player like him out of the rumours.

"His future is in Paris, his present is in Paris. It's hard to talk about the future because in football anything can change at any moment (but) besides the injury, he's very happy in Paris."

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar (front), wearing the jersey of Liverpool's Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker, celebrates with teammates after their 2-1 win of the UEFA Champions League Group C football match between Paris Saint-Germain (P
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

According to El Mundo (h/t AS), Neymar's father has contacted Barcelona "on more than five occasions" with regards to discussing a move back to the Spanish champions.

Meanwhile, Goal's Ignasi Oliva Gispert reported in January that Barcelona have been in touch with Neymar's representatives to "start the process" of bringing him back to the Camp Nou.

Neymar left Barcelona in August 2017 after PSG triggered his €222 million (£200 million) release clause in a world-record deal.

The move left many Barcelona supporters bitter as they lost one of their key players, who moved to a league that is perceived to be of inferior quality.

The Brazilian has predictably shone in Ligue 1, winning a domestic treble in his first season and completing a prolific attack alongside Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe. 

He's managed 20 goals this season but is currently sidelined with a fractured metatarsal and has been ruled out for 10 weeks:

Yet Neymar's future at PSG remains the subject of much speculation, and there's a sense that although he moved to the French capital to be the leading figure in the team, he's actually been overshadowed by Mbappe.

ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan explained why PSG might be willing to sell Neymar:

A move back to Barcelona seems unlikely due to the ill-feeling engendered by his departure, and the fact Barcelona have spent heavily in bringing Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho to the club.

President Josep Maria Bartomeu has also said it's "not possible" for him to return in an interview with Radio Kanal Barcelona (h/t Goal's Nick Howson).

However, speculation continues to swirl about the Brazilian's future at PSG, with Real Madrid again linked with the 27-year-old.

According to Duncan Castles at the Sunday Times, Los Blancos are "confident" they can tempt him away from PSG in the summer, and the Brazilian has "encouraged" the club's interest.

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