Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar will be denied a reunion with former club Barcelona in the Champions League after failing to recover from a thigh injury in time for the second leg this week.
The same injury had already ruled the Brazilian out first leg last month when PSG thrashed Barça 4-1 at Camp Nou, with Kylian Mbappe scoring a hat-trick.
Neymar is still yet to play against Barcelona since he left in a controversial €222m world record transfer in 2017 and will have to wait even longer for that chance as a result of missing both games.
PSG have confirmed that despite Neymar resuming light training last week and carrying on with an individual recovery programme, the Barcelona game has come too soon and he won’t be involved.
The 29-year-old hasn’t played since early February and his season in general has been plagued by a number of injuries, including an ankle problem in December and January and a previous thigh issue in October and November.
Juan Bernat is also ruled out because of injury, while Moise Kean is isolating due to COVID-19.
Having previously appeared desperate to return to Barcelona in 2019, with only his former side’s dire financial position preventing a deal from being made, Neymar is now expected to commit his long-term future to PSG.
The player revealed in an interview earlier this year that he is ‘truly happy’ at PSG and the reason for that is because a lot has changed.
His current contract is due to expire at the end of next season and a renewal looks likely. PSG sporting director Leonardo recently explained that talks are ‘on the right track’, while it has been reported in Brazil that a deal until 2026 is on the table.
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