Lionel Messi questioned whether the club did all they could to re-sign the PSG star but the manager was unwilling to discuss the forward
Ernesto Valverde wants to move on from the Neymar transfer saga as he fears it could have a negative effect on Barcelona.
The Brazil international has been rumoured to have been desperate for a return to his former club, two years after leaving for Ligue 1 giants PSG in a world-record deal, but nothing materialised before the September 2 deadline.
Neymar’s future remains a hot topic of discussion after Barcelona star Lionel Messi said this week he does not know if his side did everything possible to bring his former team-mate back to Camp Nou.
Valverde was not in the mood to discuss Messi’s interview during Friday’s news conference, however, telling reporters: “Was this not over? It has been done.
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) September 5, 2019
“We’ve been speaking about Neymar before the window, during it and now afterwards we’re still talking about him.
“It’s time to turn the page. He’s a very good soccer professional. The market closed days ago.
“He’s a great soccer professional, I know everyone has their opinion. Talking about these things has been bad for the club. I do not like it.
“I didn’t read the interview. Everyone looks at Leo with binoculars. There has been no need to attach too much importance.”
Barcelona are rumoured to have offered PSG cash plus players for Neymar, with Ivan Rakitic among those touted as a possible makeweight.
The Croatia midfielder has been restricted to just 44 minutes of football in Barca’s first three La Liga matches due to increased competition for a starting place, but Valverde has been prepared to rotate with seven matches in the next 23 days.
“I don’t think he’s affected in any kind of way,” Valverde said. “There’s no reason for him to feel that way.
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“We’ve got a lot of players in midfield – if Rakitic doesn’t play it’s the same as Arthur, [Arturo] Vidal, [Carles] Alena, Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets. Whoever I don’t play has been going to be a story.
“Evidently they can’t all play and there’s competition for places. Sergio Busquets has been a fixed soccer professional [in the starting XI] and that limits chances even more.
“There’s time to start thinking about what type of rotations work and do not work in those positions.”