Neymar return to Barcelona played down as Setien rules out mega transfer

Goal.com

Barcelona boss Quique Setien has ruled out the possibility of Neymar returning to the club from Paris Saint-Germain during the summer transfer window.

Neymar joined Barca from Santos as a promising youngster back in 2013, and quickly managed to live up to his potential alongside a whole host of world-class players at Camp Nou.

The Brazilian attacker won eight major trophies during his time at Camp Nou, including two La Liga titles and the Champions League, while combining with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to form the most deadly front three in European football.

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However, Neymar eventually grew tired of sharing the limelight at Barca, and completed a world record €222 million (£194m/$243m) move to PSG in 2017, with a view to finally adding an elusive Ballon d'Or award to his trophy collection.

Unfortunately, injuries and disciplinary issues have overshadowed his time in the French capital, while Kylian Mbappe has arguably moved ahead of him as the most important member of Thomas Tuchel's squad.

Neymar expressed regret over his decision to leave Barca last year, and sought to retrace his steps at the end of the 2018-19 season.

PSG and Barca were ultimately unable to agree on a final fee, but the 28-year-old continues to be linked with a move back to Camp Nou, with Antoine Griezmann currently failing to live up to expectations in Catalunya.

Setien has also had to make do without injured duo Suarez and Ousmane Dembele this year, and has been tipped to strengthen his squad when the transfer market reopens.

The Spanish coach is adamant that Barca will not be forking out mega money for Neymar though, given the potential financial repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.

"€222 million for him? No. I don't think there is anyone who can spend that much," Setien told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"And small clubs have water in their throats. Many of them lived to the limit and at the first serious jolt they went into crisis. Football lived at an uncontrolled pace."

One man who could be on his way out of Camp Nou later in the year is Arthur, with Goal reporting that Juventus have been in contact with Barca to discuss a potential transfer.

A swap deal involving Miralem Pjanic has been mooted, but Setien refused to be drawn on speculation when asked to discuss any ongoing negotiations behind the scenes.

"I speak very often with my managers and nobody has ever told me anything about it," he said. "Among other things, Arthur has already said twice that he wants to stay at Barca and I understand him perfectly. In his place I would think like him: I would not leave a team like this, with the chance to have the best player in the world alongside him. And a great coach!

"Pjanic is another excellent player, but today it is risky to talk about the market."

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