Barcelona director Jordi Mestre has insisted that the thought of selling Neymar this summer hasn’t even crossed their minds.
The Catalan giants have experienced an alarming dip in form in recent weeks, which in turn has resulted in their elimination from the Champions League while Atletico Madrid have moved level on points with them at the top of the La Liga table.
Neymar has attracted plenty of criticism as a result, and unfairly so given that the entire team has seemingly dropped their standards in terms of performance.
Luis Enrique’s side appear to be mentally and physically fatigued after what has been a gruelling season thus far, and it has had an effect on all, not just Neymar.
However, that hasn’t stopped reports suggesting that Barca board members are considering a sale should the likes of Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain meet the €190m release clause put in place in the Brazilian’s contract, as noted by Sport.
Nevertheless, Mestre has moved to clear up the speculation and has insisted that Barca have no intention of selling one of their most prized assets.
“Of course not,” Mestre said on Barca TV. “That is something that keeps coming up, but I have said it many times — we are delighted with Neymar. And Neymar will not be sold. We have not even thought about doing it.”
There is no denying that Neymar’s recent form has been disappointing on a personal level, as he has now gone five games without a goal or an assist.
Such is the talent level of the 24-year-old though, it is difficult to imagine that this unwanted streak will continue for much longer, let alone that it should be enough to force the club into thinking about selling.
Barca still have the possibility of winning domestic honours this season, and although their premature Champions League elimination will be a red mark against their campaign, Enrique and his players know that they have plenty left to play for with Neymar likely to be one of the stars to lead that revival.