Neymar return to Barcelona edges closer after fresh talks with club chief

Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe (R) speaks to Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar during the European Champions League football match Napoli vs Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on November 6, 2018 at San Paolo stadium in Naples. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Barcelona have stepped up their push to re-sign Neymar, according to reports in Spain, ahead of a potential summer return.

The Brazilian superstar left the Catalan giants in 2017, joining Paris Saint-Germain for £200million.

His future since has been clouded, amid suggestions he is unhappy in the French league and wants to return to La Liga.

Real Madrid, continuing to eye a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, were interested last summer but have since turned much of their attention to Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and other targets.

However Barcelona – despite Neymar leaving under something of a cloud – have made moves in recent months to see if the player is interested in a potential Camp Nou return.

Neymar, who moved to Paris to bolster his own Ballon d’Or claims, is still well liked in the dressing room and Lionel Messi admitted last month “we would love for him to come back”.

In November, club representative Andre Cury, met with Neymar’s father in London to discuss a potential return; Cury had played a key role in Neymar’s initial move to Barcelona from Santos.

Now Catalunya Radio reports that Cury has met with Neymar and his team again, this time in Brazil during the player’s winter break.

Also reportedly involved in discussions were Pini Zahavi – the Israeli agent who helped organise the 2017 switch to PSG – and Alvaro Costa – the son of Barca’s player liaison officer Pepe Costa.

PSG continue to face major questions from UEFA over their compliance with Financial Fair Play, with Europe’s governing body investigating the club’s financial affairs.

The club have previously denied considering selling either Neymar or Kylian Mbappe to circumvent potential sanctions.

But if UEFA come calling then parting with Neymar for a fee similar to their initial outlay could be their best way out – particularly with Barcelona and the player increasingly keen to reunite.