?Spokesperson for the Barcelona board Josep Vives has quashed rumours of an extraordinary return to the club for Neymar, reports ?MARCA.
The Brazilian superstar only left the club in the summer to join Paris Saint-Germain for a world record £198m fee, going on to score 29 goals in 30 games for the Parisian club this season.
Despite being in France for less that a year, the likes of ?Ivan Rakatic and most recently ?Philippe Coutinho suggesting they would welcome back the former Santos man, Vives has poured cold water on any potential reunion.
Board spokesperson: “”We are not aware of Neymar wanting to return to Barcelona. We aren’t going to enter into a hypothetical debate about what someone says about a player that isn’t one of our own.” [Marca] pic.twitter.com/vGQ9et4i28
— Barca Universal (@BarcaUniversal) March 13, 2018
Vives said: “
“Since then, nothing else has happened.
Barcelona have coped extremely well following the departure of Neymar, currently holding an eight point lead at the top of La Liga, a Champions League last 16 tie second-leg against Chelsea and a Copa del Rey final against Sevilla next month.
Neymar meanwhile has been sidelined with a metatarsal and ankle injury sustained in February against Marseille.
The forward has since gone on to have a successful surgery in his homeland and hopes to fit in time to represent Brazil at the World Cup this summer.
Former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho is all for Neymar returning to the Nou Camp as rumours of a sensational comeback continue to swirl.
The Brazilian, who left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain last summer, is reported as being unhappy at the Parc des Princes and is hoping to return to Spain in short order.
Barca boss Ernesto Valverde has since labelled the rumours “a fantasy.”
“It seems like a fantasy to me,” the coach said after being quizzed on the subject. “We don’t know where it’s come from or where it’s going to end. We aren’t going to talk about suppositions.”
Coutinho, though, seems to be very open to his Brazil teammate engineering a return to Nou Camp.
Coutinho (on Neymar): “He is a great player. I play with him for the international team and it is a real privilege. It would be great if he came back and of course we would open the door to that.” pic.twitter.com/iaj05euHXE
— Barca Universal (@BarcaUniversal) March 12, 2018
“With Neymar, that’s life, but I have the same feelings as (Ivan) Rakitic,” he said at the presentation of the Mediterranean International Cup (H/T Marca).
Neymar’s old teammate Rakitic had previously stated that he would “open the door for him to come back”.
“Neymar’s not said anything to me, but if it was up to me I would open the door for him to come back right now,” the Croatian said after Barca’s 2-0 win over Malaga on Saturday. “Not just because of the relationship I have with him, but because of the type of player he is. I would always put Neymar in my team.”
‘We Have to Play the Perfect Game’: Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso Reveals ‘Special’ Barcelona Preparations
Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso has opened up about playing away to Barcelona for the first time in his career. Having spent many years at Real Madrid, and his grandfather being part of the side that lined up with the likes of Ferenc Puskas and Alfredo Di Stefano, the occasion will be huge within his family – especially considering that his father turned out for La Blaugrana.
Alonso travels to the Camp Nou with his Chelsea teammates this week for the second leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16. The tie currently stands at 1-1, and due to the away goal rule, the Blues have to score before 90 minutes is over in order to make it to the quarter finals.
And Alonso, who has a long history with La Liga’s two biggest teams, is revelling the occasion:
“We have to score a goal and so we have to go for it. We know we have to play the perfect game.
The Spaniard also opened up on his family’s footballing life, making it sound as though it was always his destiny to make it to professional football:
“He [Alonso’s grandfather] used to say it was easy to play because he was a centre back, he just used to get the ball back and give it to Di Stefano, [Francisco] Gento, Puskas.
“My grandmother has five replica cups at home. I grew up with football in my house. After playing my father used to coach, we used to follow him around Spain.
“We used to travel with him to many cities. 24 hours a day football was a topic at home. I’ve always loved to play the game.”
Chinese Super League outfit Tianjin Quanjian have reportedly denied the signing of Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta, following rumours that the veteran midfielder is set to leave the Nou Camp in favour of the financial haven of China.
These are the first rumours to erupt in recent years. The build up to last summer saw Iniesta consistently linked with a trip to Asia, as his glittering career draws to an eventual close. However, that rumour was soon quashed, and the Spaniard signed a new contract with the Blaugrana back in October.
But that hasn’t stopped the cycle from starting again only five months later. According to Marca, Tianjin Quanjian club president
?Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has indicated that he is hopeful of being fit for Wednesday’s crucial Champions League clash with Chelsea at the Camp Nou.
Iniesta missed the La Liga leader’s ?2-0 win over bottom side Malaga on Saturday after picking up a hamstring injury in last week’s victory over Atletico Madrid.
?Sport-English however, are reporting that Iniesta may be available to face Chelsea, after he reportedly posted a message on his social media accounts saying that he was getting: “closer every day”, which was accompanied by an image of the midfielder in training.
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde had said on Friday that it was “too soon” to know whether or not the Barca captain would be available to face the defending Premier League champions.
The round of 16 tie is finely poised after a 1-1 draw between the two sides in the first leg at Stamford Bridge, where Lionel Messi’s strike following a loose pass from defender Andreas Christensen cancelled out Willian’s long range opener.
Iniesta, who has won the Champions League four times during his career at Barcelona, has made 31 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona this season, scoring once in a 2-0 win over Malaga at the Camp Nou earlier in the season.