The intrigue surrounding Neymar’s future at Barcelona took another twist when the Brazilian star said on Saturday that he would be in Shanghai on Monday.
It comes a day after a major event organiser in China said a meet-and-greet with the forward on Monday in Shanghai was off because he and his advisers were busy with transfer business.
That added to swirling speculation that the unsettled 25-year-old could be poised to join Paris Saint-Germain for a record-breaking 222 million euros.
Footage also emerged of Neymar having a training-ground altercation with new Barcelona signing Nelson Semedo while in Miami, where they play Real Madrid later Saturday in a high-profile friendly.
Then Neymar sent a first message on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, saying: “Greetings to the fans in China! I’m Neymar Jr, this is my official Weibo account.
“I am going to be sharing my own personal experiences here with Chinese fans.
“I’m looking forward to your following and reposting! See you in Shanghai on Monday!”
The message was written in English and Chinese, but gave no further details on his movements in China.
The first Clasico of the season will take place on Sunday, and it could be a momentous one in the history of the rivalry as it may be the last time Neymar turns out in a Barcelona shirt.
Neymar is reportedly on the verge of leaving Barca in a record-breaking transfer to PSG, news which will undoubtedly make Real Madrid happy.
The Brazil international has not quite tortured Los Blancos the way Lionel Messi has, but he’s enjoyed his encounters with Barcelona’s bitter rivals nonetheless as the video below shows.
His Barcelona teammates want him to stay, obviously, and add to his three goals in eight games against Real Madrid. Barcelona know they are better with Neymar than without him, against Madrid or any other opponent.
The speculation around the Brazilian’s future has ensured one thing: on Sunday, all eyes will be on Neymar.
Gerard Pique admits he does not know for sure whether Neymar will stay at Barcelona amid interest from Paris St Germain.
Neymar has been the subject of speculation this summer, with reports that PSG had agreed to activate his release clause of almost £200million.
Barca defender Pique posted a message on social media on Sunday which appeared to suggest the Brazil forward had committed his future to the Nou Camp.
Pique posted a picture of himself with Neymar, along with the simple message “se queda”, which translates as “he stays”.
However, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday night, Pique acknowledged his opinion was not definitive.
The 30-year-old said: “My Instagram post was a gut thing. I want Neymar to stay. It’s my intuition.
“It was nothing official, it doesn’t depend on me. Only Neymar can say what will happen, but I hope he stays.
“I try to explain to Neymar, as a team-mate and a friend, the situation he’s in. I would say don’t go to a league which, with all due respect, is not as good.”
Barcelona are currently in the United States on a pre-season tour and Neymar is expected to face Manchester United in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Provided by Press Association Sport