Neymar to PSG? - Barcelona's denials don't stop transfer talk
PARIS, France (AP):
Denials from Barcelona are doing little to halt the fervour that Brazil star Neymar could be joining Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in a transfer that more than doubles the world record.
Neymar is still playing for Barcelona, warming up for the new season by scoring twice against Juventus in a friendly on Saturday.
Neymar left the stadium in New Jersey without saying anything to reporters, allowing speculation that he will imminently join PSG for €220 million (US$253 million) to persist.
The Barcelona coach and president have been more willing to speak, and both are adamant that the mercurial forward is staying put.
"We want Neymar to be with us," Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said after the 2-1 victory over Juventus. "We know the importance he has in our game, our dressing room, the team dynamic, and we want him with us. It's clear."
Barcelona's league campaign begins on August 20, while PSG's season opener is in less than two weeks, on August 5.
Reports in Spain and France state that the transfer could be completed by the end of July.
PSG relinquished its league title to Monaco and made unwanted history by becoming the first team to be eliminated from the Champions League knockout stages, having won the first leg 4-0. PSG lost 6-1 away to Barcelona in the last 16, with PSG's tormentor being Neymar.