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Neymar not going to Paris Saint-Germain, says new Barcelona manager Valverde

Neymar has been linked with a move to French football team Paris Saint Germain. The Barcelona striker is now in US for the International Champions Cup

football Updated: Jul 22, 2017 12:26 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Harrison, New jersey
neymar,barcelona,paris st-germain
A fan embraces Barcelona's Neymar at the end of a training session ahead of an International Champions Cup football match against Juventus on Friday in New Jersey. (AP)

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde, who will lead the club for the first time in Saturday’s pre-season match against Juventus, has dismissed speculation linking Neymar with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

“Neymar is with us and we absolutely want him to stay here. The rest is just rumours,” Valverde told reporters at a news conference at Red Bull Arena on Friday ahead of Barcelona’s first game in the International Champions Cup.

“This is a time for rumours,” he added.

Valverde, who played for Barcelona as a forward between 1988 and 1990 under Johan Cruyff, said he had not even discussed the speculation with the Brazilian forward.

“We’ve talked about other stuff such as tactics and other stuff. It’s a player we love and we want. Not only football-wise, but also the things he brings to the locker room.”

‘NO REASON FOR NEYMAR TO MOVE’

Sitting alongside Valverde at the news conference, Sergio Busquets said there was no reason for his teammate to move.

“I don’t think he could be in any better place. I hope that he stays here for many years,” Busquets said.

Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar (L), Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (C) and Argentinian forward Lionel Messi take a break during a training session at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, on Friday. (AFP)

After the news conference, Neymar joined teammates Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez among the rest of the Barcelona squad in warm-ups and practice on the New York Red Bulls field ahead of the match against Juventus at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium.

Valverde said he was still learning about his new side.

“I’m getting to know them little by little in the practice sessions we’ve had. “It’s not an official competition and Juve and ourself are not in form yet, but I’m eager to see what my players can do on the pitch.”

First Published: Jul 22, 2017 11:01 IST