Barcelona Vice-President Jordi Mestre insists the club has had no thoughts regarding selling Neymar. ‘We’re delighted with him.’
Neymar’s future has been questioned as the club and the forward have yet to agree a contract extension and his form has dipped as Barca’s La Liga lead has evaporated and their Champions League defence come to an end.
“By no means. This is a recurring issue and I have already said: We are happy with Neymar. He won’t be sold and it hasn’t entered our mind to sell him,” Mestre told Barca’s in-house television channel, Mundo Deportivo reports.
“When he signed for us he made an economic effort because other clubs offered him more money. He came to play here because he what he wanted was to play good football, and to do so next to Lionel Messi and to win trophies.
“This season he’s on a spectacular course. Of course the fact he hasn’t scored goals lately or that things haven’t gone as he would like has brought speculation he could leave, but it’s purely speculation.
“If we need to talk, we’ll talk. I see Neymar as very happy at Barca, in Barcelona, very much integrated into the team and the city. He’s fully committed. I don’t see a reason, if he had to leave or we don’t renew him. It’s a matter of will.”
There is a potential conflict between Barca, Neymar and Brazil brewing as the forward is wanted for both the Centenary Copa America, a FIFA-recognised tournament for which Barca could be compelled to release him, and the Olympic Games, not recognised by FIFA but held in Rio de Janeiro.
“We can’t deny him a FIFA competition but what we suggest is he plays only one tournament,” Mestre confirmed, Mundo Deportivo adding Barca would prefer Neymar playing at the Olympics.
“The seasons are very hard and we believe he has to rest.”