Saturday, April 21, 2018

Mestre confident over Neymar´s Barcelona future

SoccerNews in La Liga 20 Apr 2016


Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre has reiterated that the club has no intention of parting company with Brazil superstar Neymar.

The forward is without a goal in his past five club matches, during which time Barcelona’s lead at the top of La Liga has collapsed due to three consecutive defeats.

Atletico Madrid have also dumped the soon-to-be deposed European champions out of the Champions League and Neymar’s form has come in for criticism.

The 24-year-old was involved in an altercation with Valencia defender Antonio Barragan after Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Camp Nou and he is currently embroiled in a club versus country row due to Brazil’s desire for him to play in both the forthcoming Copa America Centenario and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Neymar is also yet to pen a new contract with Barcelona following months of speculation but Mestre is relaxed over the situation.

On whether Neymar could leave Camp Nou, he told Barca TV: “Absolutely not. I’ve said it many times, but it’s something which keeps coming up.

“I have said it actively and passively. We are delighted with Neymar and he is not for sale – it’s not even crossed our minds.

“He’s a player who made an economical effort [turned down better offers] when he signed. He came because he wanted to play good football, with [Lionel] Messi and company, and to win titles.

“He’s having a spectacular season. [He will renew] when the moment arrives. He still has a contract. If we speak, we will speak.

“But the most important thing is how the club is with him and how he is with the club.

“I see him looking happy and integrated into the city and totally committed to the club. I’m sure we will reach an agreement.”

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu sent a letter to the Brazil Football Confederation [CBF] earlier this month with a proposal for Neymar to only play in one international tournament this year – with the Olympics between August 3-20 the club’s preference.

But Mestre concedes FIFA rules mean the club would be unable to prevent Neymar from playing if he is called up to the Copa America Centenario.

“Yes, it’s true that we can’t prevent him from playing in a FIFA competition [the Copa America], but we recommend that he only plays one competition [the Olympics] because he has played a lot of games.

“The seasons are long and dense and we believe he should rest, but it’s a decision which has to be managed by the coaches. We’ve made the recommendation we feel is best for everyone.”


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