Barcelona players not affected by Neymar speculation

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Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has said that the players are unlikely to be affected by the ongoing speculation associating Neymar with a return to the club. The Brazil international has played no part for Paris Saint-Germain since the beginning of the season and reports have emerged that he is keen on returning to the Camp Nou before the September 2 transfer deadline.

Amidst this, Valverde has been questioned about the attacker’s potential return on numerous occasions, but the Spaniard has come up with the same response each time around. Speaking in a press conference, Valverde stressed that there is always speculation with the transfer window open and the players have to live with that.

He added that it would be impossible for the Blaugrana players to play the game, should the Neymar speculation affect them in any capacity, he said: "Every time a market window gets open there's a big expectation and players like Neymar awake a big expectation as well. What is happening is anything but boring, but he is a PSG player and we must focus on the game. We are used to living with these rumours. If they affected us, it would be impossible to play the games. This is a habitual thing here and it doesn't look extraordinary to me. We are used to it and we must live with that."

Barcelona started the season in the worst possible fashion as they succumbed to a 1-0 loss at the hands of Athletic Bilbao on the road. The Basque club have proved a bogey outfit for the team over the years and an early season blow was inflicted after veteran marksman Aritz Aduriz scored with a stunning scissor kick with minutes left on the clock. The Blaugrana are scheduled to face Real Betis on their home turf this weekend.