Leonardo Says Neymar Negotiations Have Not Advanced Amid Barcelona Rumours

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIAugust 15, 2019

TOPSHOT - Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar holds his right wrist as he attends a training session for the French L1 football club Paris Saint-Germain in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, on August 10, 2019. (Photo by Dominique FAGET / AFP)        (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo said on Thursday that the club have been in negotiations with clubs for Neymar but have been unable to make progress on a potential deal. 

"There are negotiations with clubs, as everyone knows. But nothing has advanced," he told RMC Sport (h/t Marca).

Neymar has been linked with a return to former club Barcelona throughout the summer transfer window.

His "primary objective" is to join the Spanish champions, but he is not "against the idea" of moving to Real Madrid, according to Sport's Lluis Miguelsanz and Joaquim Piera.

Leonardo also denied reports the Brazilian has been excluded from the PSG squad amid speculation over his future:

Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip

Leonardo on Neymar being excluded from the PSG squad: “False. He is following his personalised recovery schedule. Neymar is a PSG player. He has 3 more years of contract here -- that must not be forgotten. Everything needs to be settled & analysed before Neymar can play again.”

Neymar appears determined to leave the Ligue 1 champions this summer, but it is far from clear if he will get his wish or where he will end up.

Barcelona have already invested heavily in signing Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid for €120 million. He joins a star-studded attack consisting of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele.

However, the Catalan giants are willing to include Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho in a deal to bring Neymar back to the club:

B/R Football @brfootball

Barcelona are open to offering Ivan Rakitic, Philippe Coutinho and €100M for Neymar, according to @ESPNFC https://t.co/xIb4E2mxMY

Yet PSG are after a deal including Barca right-back Nelson Semedo, according to journalist Guillem Balague:

Guillem Balague @GuillemBalague

NEYMAR Update: 1st meeting of clubs ends with no agreement. #FCB happy to offer Coutinho/Rakitic, and proposed loan (plus player) with option to buy next season of around €100m. #PSG want money + Coutinho & Semedo. Full Video: https://t.co/XAUsXxbKTI https://t.co/QNMuLOykkP

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde was asked about a potential move for Neymar during Friday's pre-match press conference but told reporters he is not involved in the discussions:

"I'm not involved in all these issues. I focus on the team and the players I have. I am happy with my squad. I have respect for other players and for other teams. He's a PSG player and we will see, but I can't tell you anything about that."

Barcelona's fierce rivals Real Madrid have also been in talks with PSG over a move for Neymar, according to Sky Sports News.

The club are hopeful they can land the Brazilian ahead of Barca, despite having already brought in players such as Luka Jovic, Eden Hazard and Ferland Mendy this summer:

Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip

Real Madrid are reportedly preparing an offensive to land PSG’s Neymar ahead of Barcelona. #RMCF #FCB #Barca https://t.co/I0wW5LLhk8

Meanwhile, PSG's supporters have made their feelings about Neymar clear already this season:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

'Neymar, go away' The PSG fans have lost patience with the Brazillian 👀 https://t.co/JwAF0HWCXk

There appears to be no way back for Neymar at PSG, although it still remains to be seen if either Real Madrid or Barcelona will be able to pull off what would be a remarkable transfer.