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Neymar wants to return to Barcelona from PSG, La Liga club say

But club vice-president Jordi Cardoner adds they have had no contact so far with world's most expensive footballer

Brazilia  superstar Neymar moved to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona two summers ago. Evaristo Sa / AFP
Brazilia  superstar Neymar moved to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona two summers ago. Evaristo Sa / AFP

Brazilian superstar Neymar wants to return to Barcelona two years after quitting the club to join Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona's vice-president said on Thursday.

"What is correct, at the current time, what I have read, what I have heard, which seems exact, is that Neymar wants to come back to Barcelona," Jordi Cardoner said at Camp Nou.

He added that Barcelona had had no contact so far with the world's most expensive footballer who joined the French champions for €222 million (then Dh968.3m).

For the moment, the club acknowledged Neymar's interest in returning to Barcelona but said there was no recruitment effort on their part to resign him.

"To say that Barca is working on recruiting Neymar, that is something I cannot agree with," Cardoner said.

"For the moment all that is happening - and not only with Neymar - is that a number of players would like to play for a great club like Barcelona. We will see what happens in timely fashion."

"We are currently working on the phase of deciding which players we will not be keeping on next season," Cardoner said. "We are recruiting no-one at the moment, especially not this player [Neymar] with whom we have had no contact."

However, media reports indicated that intermediaries between PSG and Barca had hammered out the terms of the deal which would free the Brazilian star to return to Barcelona this summer.

According to other Spanish media reports this week, Neymar has offered to take a pay cut of €12m a year to return to the club and Barca have reached a 'verbal agreement' to take him back.

The 27-year-old spent four years at Camp Nou, winning the Uefa Champions League in 2015 and two La Liga titles in a potent attacking trio alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Any return for Neymar would likely require Barca to raise funds through sales. Antoine Griezmann is expected to join from Atletico Madrid for €120m while Frenkie de Jong has already signed for €75m from Ajax.

The pay cut would see Neymar's salary clipped from around €36m at PSG to the €24m he received at Barca prior to his departure in 2017, according to the reports.

Meanwhile, Brazilian goalkeeper Neto is on his way to Barcelona from Valencia in an exchange deal with Jasper Cillessen, Barca's back-up goalkeeper heading the other way, the Spanish champions said.

Neto, 29, has signed a four-year deal at Camp Nou for €26m with €9m in add-ons and a €200m release clause, Barcelona announced on their website.

Dutchman Cillessen's departure in the opposite direction was announced the previous day for a similar sum. He arrived at the Spanish giants in 2016 as understudy to Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

He never managed to unseat the German star who remains the first choice goalkeeper with Neto, formerly of Fiorentina and Juventus, moving in as No 2.

Updated: June 27, 2019 03:59 PM

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