Barcelona President Rules Out Potential Neymar Return & Admits ‘Surprise’ at Manner of His Departure

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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has ruled out any reunion with Neymar after insisting the Brazilian is not on the club’s radar as they look further afield for new additions to the squad.

Neymar left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222m deal last summer, where his departure from the club was anything but smooth sailing as the Catalan giants sought legal action against the 26-year-old. 

The Brazilian was sued for €8.5m for failing to fulfil his contract, and with the bridges all but burnt Bartomeu was adamant that Barcelona would not be entertaining any battle to bring him back to Spain.

“I was surprised how Neymar left,” Bartomeu said, via Goal. “I think that when he told us he was going, he had long since decided it.

“On the day there is a trial about the renewal premium, all this will come out. Neymar won’t return to Barca. We have new projects and there is no interest.”

Despite hitting the ground running in France after netting 28 goals in his debut season for the Parisians, Neymar has long been linked with an exit from Ligue 1 – with Real Madrid widely reported as interested suitors. 

The 26-year-old, however, is currently out of action following a fracture to his fifth metatarsal in the foot during PSG’s 3-0 victory over Marseille in February, which has ruled him out for the rest of the club season – where he is expected to return to fitness in time for the World Cup. 

Barcelona meanwhile continued their unbeaten run in La Liga following their 2-2 draw with Real Madrid on Sunday, with games against Villarreal, Levante and Real Sociedad still to come as they look to preserve their pristine domestic record.

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