x

Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

Real Madrid dismiss €310m bid for Neymar as 'absolutely untrue'

Brazilian forward is at the World Cup where he inspired his side to a last-16 win over Mexico on Monday

Real Madrid have dismissed a report linking them with a world-record €310 million (Dh1.3 billion) bid for Brazil forward Neymar as "absolutely untrue".

On Monday Spain's public television station TVE made the claim that the Spanish giants had tabled the colossal offer to lure Neymar back to La Liga from French club Paris Saint-Germain.

Real were quick to knock it down, saying in a statement they had not been consulted by TVE before the broadcast.

"In light of information broadcast tonight by TVE regarding an alleged Real Madrid offer to PSG and their player Neymar, Real Madrid CF wishes to state that this information is absolutely untrue," the club said in statement on their website.

"Real Madrid have made no offer of any kind to PSG or the player," the European champions added.

_____________

Read more:

Neymar the inspiration as Brazil march on to World Cup quarter-finals

Best images so far from the World Cup 2018 in Russia Part 2 - in pictures

Who's crying now? Fans mock tearful Sergio Ramos after Spain World Cup exit

_____________

The report came hours after Neymar helped Brazil see off Mexico 2-0 in the World Cup last 16 in Russia to set up a tantalising quarter-final clash with Belgium.

Neymar, 26, became the world's most expensive player last year when he moved to PSG from Barcelona last summer for €222m, but reports that the striker is unhappy in France have seen him persistently linked with a move back to Spain.

Real Madrid have constantly been mentioned as his preferred destination of choice, but the club's unequivocal response to the latest rumours suggest that should Neymar move, it will not be to the 13-time European Cup winners.

While Real distance themselves from the player, Neymar's immediate focus is on trying to help Brazil win a record-extending sixth World Cup.

The Selecao No 10 brushed off his critics after firing the five-time World Cup winners to victory over Mexico on Monday in sweltering conditions.

Neymar scored Brazil's first and had his shot saved by Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa that led to a simple tap in for substitutee Roberto Firmino.

But Neymar's performance was tarnished by yet another example of his tendency to overreact to seemingly innocuous challenges.

The latest chapter in a bulging catalogue of histrionics came in the second half, when Mexico midfielder Miguel Layun appeared to step on his ankle as he lay prone off the pitch.

Neymar writhed around and convulsed as if he had been hit by a sniper's rifle.

"I think it's a shame for football," Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio lamented afterwards, saying Neymar's antics had wasted precious time.

"We wasted a lot of time because of one single player ... we lost our style in the second half, because of the referee.

"This is a very bad example for the world and the world of football."

Yet Neymar shrugged off the criticism after his man-of-the-match performance, claiming it was motivated to "undermine me".

"I don't care much for criticism, or praise, because this can influence your attitude," he said.

"In the last two matches I didn't talk to the press because I don't want to. I just have to play, help my teammates, help my team."

Brazil manager Tite was unsurprisingly supportive of Neymar, dismissing accusations of playacting, while preferring to talk about his improving side, who seem to be finding their rhythm after a third successive 2-0 victory.

"The team still has to grow," he said. "I wanted to repeat the standard of the last match and grow and that happened."