Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Barcelona ´200 per cent sure´ of keeping Neymar, amid reports of PSG bid

SoccerNews in La Liga 18 Jul 2017

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Neymar is “200 per cent” certain to stay at Barcelona in the transfer window, according to the club’s vice-president, Jordi Mestre.

Speculation has been mounting that the Brazil star is prepared to leave Camp Nou, while a report in Neymar’s homeland on Tuesday has claimed that he has accepted a contract offer from PSG, who are prepared to smash the world transfer record and pay his €222million release clause.

However, Mestre is adamant that the 25-year-old is not going anywhere.

“I’m 200 per cent sure that he is going to stay,” Mestre told a news conference.

“I’ve read information in the French press that PSG themselves have categorically denied it, a club with whom we are maintaining absolutely normal relations.

“Nothing has changed in that aspect.”

Mestre was speaking at the official presentation of Pep Segura, who has taken over as sports manager of the football area at Camp Nou.

Segura stressed that Barca do not intend to sell any of their first-team players as head coach Ernesto Valverde has all of them in his plans for next season.

“All the players in the squad are non-transferable,” he said. “Nobody wants to leave here and everyone wants to come. 

“Until proven otherwise, it’s the best squad and we’re counting on all of them, as Ernesto Valverde said yesterday [Monday].”

Barca have been criticised in the local media for failing to hold on to some of their brightest young talents, with Jordi Mboula and Eric Garcia the latest to leave La Masia, having signed deals with Monaco and Manchester City respectively.

Segura suggested that Barca could consider offering increased salaries in order to convince some of their young players to stay.

“We live in a time when football has evolved. We have to accept that but we won’t change our way of acting,” he said.

“Sometimes there are players who take that step [away] and then regret it. In terms of the possibility of raising the salary of players in the academy to avoid departures, that’s a subject that is being studied.”

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