Barcelona are not in for Neymar – club vice president Jodi Cardoner

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Neymar

The manner of Neymar’s departure from Barcelona could hinder any possible decision to re-sign the forward, insists the club’s vice president.

The 27-year-old left the Nou Camp for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 for a world-record transfer fee.

The move has not worked out with Neymar unable to lead the Ligue 1 side to the Champions League success they are targeting and now he is reportedly desperate to return.

There have been suggestions in recent days that the Brazil international, who was ruled out of Copa America after injuring his ankle in a warm-up game, is ready to go on strike to force through a move back to Barcelona.

But Jodi Cardoner, vice president of the Catalan club, revealed they have made no move for a player whose exit two years ago left a sour taste as a legal battle ensued following bonus payments to the player.

“The correct thing is to say that Neymar wants to return to Barcelona,” Cardoner told Marca.

“But I do not agree that Barcelona worry about signing Neymar, this is not on the table, there are many things about his departure that I did not like, many things.

“We have to change the scenarios, there are uncertain comments that we have signed Neymar, we have not signed anyone, we have not kept in touch with him, he and many players want to play in Barcelona.

“It does not surprise me that Neymar wants to come back… it has already happened other times, sometimes they have left and they have returned; Cesc (Fabregas), (Gerard) Pique.

“Neymar is a great player, but what surrounds the circumstances of how he left also have to be evaluated if one day these hypotheses are to be reality.”

One player who will be turning out for Barcelona next season is Neymar’s compatriot Neto.

Barcelona confirmed the signing of the 29-year-old goalkeeper on Thursday – Neto signing a four-year deal after a fee of 26million Euros – with another 9million Euros in add-ons – was agreed with Valencia.

Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillesen moved the other way earlier in the week and Neto will now provide cover for first-choice Marc-Andre ter Stegen, having been on the bench for Valencia’s Copa del Rey final win over Barcelona at the end of last season.

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Liverpool agree deal for 17-year-old Dutch defender Sepp Van Den Berg

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Liverpool have reached an agreement to sign Holland Under-19 defender Sepp Van Den Berg from PEC Zwolle.

The Champions League winners have announced the highly-rated 17-year-old will join them in July after finalising a deal – subject to international clearance – understood to be worth an initial £1.3million.

Van den Berg, who made 15 appearances for the Eredivisie side last season, has agreed a “long-term contract” at Anfield and will become Jurgen Klopp’s first signing of the summer.

Van Den Berg told the Premier League club’s website, www.liverpoolfc.com: “It’s just an amazing feeling. It is, for me, the biggest club in the world and it’s a dream come true. I am really excited.

“I’ve seen what kind of players from the academy grew into the first team here. It is unbelievable, especially when this kind of big club does that.

“Of course, the trainer (Klopp) is a great guy and one of the reasons they are successful – and also one of the reasons I came here. I think this is the best place for me to grow and hopefully play a lot of games here.”

Van Den Berg, who has four under-19 caps, will join the first-team squad but is expected to be eased into action with games in the academy side.

Liverpool have also announced that 18-year-old midfielder Abdi Sharif has signed his first professional contract with the club.

Sharif was born in Somalia but raised in Toxteth and has been training with the club since the age of six.

He was a member of the side that won the FA Youth Cup last season, scoring a penalty in the shoot-out and has also played in the Under-23s team.

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Chelsea set to sign on-loan Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic

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Chelsea are expected to complete the permanent signing of Mateo Kovacic for a fee in the region of £40million.

The Blues are understood to have agreed the deal with Real Madrid, after Kovacic spent last season on loan at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are able to recruit the 25-year-old permanently despite their two-window FIFA transfer ban due to the terms of the original loan deal.

Kovacic arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer on a one-year loan with Chelsea retaining the option to buy at the end of that stint.

And with the Croatia midfielder still registered to the Blues, the west London club are able to push through his full transfer.

Kovacic’s continued presence at Stamford Bridge will offset Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s extended absence as the England midfielder continues to recover after Achilles surgery.

Kovacic’s old club Inter Milan had expressed interest in taking him back to Serie A, but the 52-cap Croatia star wanted to stay at Chelsea.

Frank Lampard continues to inch closer to a return to Stamford Bridge as manager.

The 41-year-old’s deal to replace Maurizio Sarri as Blues boss is understood to remain on track.

Lampard’s strong impression at Derby in his maiden managerial campaign has marked him out as the preferred choice to replace Sarri, who has returned to Italy with Juventus.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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