GOAL - Chris Burton
Reports of Neymar “begging” for a return to Barcelona have been branded “fake news” by the Paris Saint-Germain star’s father.
A potential return to Camp Nou for the Brazil international continues to be mooted in each passing transfer window.
He departed Catalunya back in 2017 as part of a record-breaking €222 million (£199m/$255m) deal.
Speculation regarding a second spell in Spanish football has circulated from the moment that agreement went through.
Real Madrid were considered to be leading the chase at one stage, with Neymar fitting the ‘Galactico’ mould at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Blancos appear to have moved towards other targets, though, with a player who once figured prominently on their radar seemingly favouring a retracing of his steps.
Contrasting opinions have been offered regarding a possible switch back to Barca, with some talking up a move while others have expressed doubts.
The Spanish press seem to think that something could be put in place, though, with El Mundo claiming that Neymar is desperate for the Blaugrana to snap him up.
They have suggested that the 26-year-old has been in regular contact with the Liga club, and that his father has expressed how “disappointed and very sorry” the family are for having left.
Neymar Santos Sr has, however, sought to quash those rumours in a post on social media.
If the reports really are “fake news”, then Neymar appears destined to remain in France for the foreseeable future.
He penned a five-year contract with PSG upon his arrival, with that deal set to take him through to 2022.
Success has been enjoyed by the South American during his time at Parc des Princes, with a leading role played in a domestic treble last season before picking up an unfortunate injury.
He has also been catching the eye again this season, with 18 goals recorded in 21 appearances.
Those efforts, alongside contributions from Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani, have PSG unbeaten in the defence of their Ligue 1 crown and through to the last 16 of the Champions League – although they are out of the Coupe de la Ligue after seeing a 49-match unbeaten run in cup competition ended by Guingamp.