Neymar ‘still wants to return to Barcelona’ despite his public proclamations that he is happy at Paris Saint-Germain.
The Brazilian star, whose PSG contract expires next year, claimed he had ‘never been happier’ at the French club when speaking ahead of their Champions League semi-final against Manchester City.
Asked about his future in Paris, he said: ‘I have got time on my contract here at PSG. We want to do what is the best for everyone.
‘I have already said that I am happy here and I feel much better than in the previous seasons.’
However, suggestions that really Neymar wants to return to Barcelona, where he played between 2013 and 2017, persist.
Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo report that Neymar is desperate to be reunited with Lionel Messi, preferably at Barcelona or even at PSG.
Neymar, 29, is closely monitoring Messi’s situation at the Nou Camp amid reports the Argentine star could leave this summer.
He believes he is in a position of strength in any contract negotiations because PSG won’t want to let a player they signed for a world record £198million leave for nothing next summer.
Neymar has yet to sign a new deal, which would be until 2026, despite being urged to by the PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
In order to keep the star at the club, PSG is willing to make a serious move for Messi in the summer market.
Reports from Spain on Wednesday said they are preparing a two-year deal, with the option of a further one, to tempt Messi to the Parc des Princes.
However, Neymar won’t be Barcelona’s No 1 target for the summer with president Joan Laporta prioritising the Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.
PSG lost 2-1 to City in the first leg of the semi-final on Wednesday night and face an uphill task to reach the final next month.
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