Reports of a deal have proven premature, but a club spokesperson has not ruled out a transfer being done before Monday’s transfer deadline
Barcelona have refused to admit defeat in their pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, with club spokesman Guillermo Amor saying they will see how talks proceed through to the transfer deadline.
Neymar has been the centre of an ongoing transfer battle between La Liga giants Barca, hoping for a reunion with the Brazil star, and Real Madrid, as the clubs hope to pry him away from PSG.
The Ligue 1 champions, who signed Neymar from Barca in 2017 for €222 million (£201m/$245m), have admitted they are willing to let their star go, but have insisted a strong offer has been required to force their hand.
Neymar has been absent from PSG’s start of the campaign despite training in full of late, as the transfer saga threatens to go right up to the September 2 deadline.
Reports surfaced Thursday that Barca had met PSG’s demands, with Neymar’s return to Camp Nou imminent, but those rumours now seem premature as Amor has conceded no deal has been done yet for the Brazil star.
However, he claims Barca remain hopeful of securing a deal for Neymar before the close of the European transfer window Monday following talks in Monaco ahead of the Champions League group stage draw.
“We were focused on this for a long time but they [PSG] said there has been nothing,” Amor told Movistar . When asked if a move was still possible before the transfer deadline, Amor replied: “We’ll see”.
Neymar was present at training for PSG on Thursday, but will not feature for the Ligue 1 champions when they visit Metz on Friday.
After the squad list for the match was revealed, PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel provided an update on the Neymar situation, leaving open for a number of possiblities.
“His situation has not changed since the Toulouse match,” Tuchel said.
“All I can say has been that I am calm, relaxed. The world of football can be crazy. Now has been not the time to lose our heads. Anything could happen. Perhaps nothing will change.
“It has been a bit late to impose a deadline. We will see on September 2.”
Reports have suggested Barcelona are attempting to bridge the financial gap to PSG’s demands with an offer including Ousmane Dembele and Ivan Rakitic, though Dembele’s agent Moussa Sissoko has said his client will not depart the Liga giants for France.
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And Tuchel, who coached Dembele at Borussia Dortmund, refused to be drawn in on questions over his former charge.
“Dembele? We know each other. A lot of things are said,” Tuchel said.
“I will not speak about a soccer professional from another club. He has been under contract. I will not be speaking about him today.”