Neymar to Barca? Xavi responds

World News

After it was suggested that Neymar is set for an exit from Paris Saint-Germain, FC Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has addressed speculation linking the Brazilian with a return to the Camp Nou.

With Kylian Mbappe now considered the face of PSG, Neymar's future at the French club has come further under the spotlight after it was already in doubt following the Ligue 1 side's disappointing elimination from the UEFA Champions League in March.  

Along with his disappointing showing for a large part of the campaign, the Selecao talisman has also suffered a number of injuries this season, which saw him play only 28 matches across all competitions, a far cry from Mbappe's 46 appearances. 

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The Selecao star's off-field behaviour has also been attributed to his drop in performance levels, with the player having been accused of having a party lifestyle.

After the Parisians' bowed out of the Champions League at the round of 16 stage against Real Madrid, various reports in France suggested that PSG were willing to part ways with the 30-year-old in favour of building a new project around Mbappe.

With rumours of his exit from the Parc des Princes continuing to swirl, and some suggesting a swap deal could take place with Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele going to PSG, Blaugrana boss Xavi has now responded to rumours linking his side with their former attacker.

"Neymar has a contract. So it's difficult to answer, very difficult," he said, according to PSG Talk.

"These are players who are not ours, so when you ask me about [Robert] Lewandowski… In the end, it's not easy, but we have to strengthen our team.

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"We have to look at what we can do and what we can't do. We have to prioritise certain positions.

"Obviously, Neymar is a player I don't hate, but we haven't talked about it; honestly, we haven't talked about the option of Neymar's return."

Fuelling speculation of a return to Catalonia, however, is the fact that Neymar was reportedly in Barcelona earlier this week, although the reason for his visit to the city is unknown. 

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