SHENZHEN: Paris Saint-Germain great Youri Djorkaeff played down the transfer speculation swirling around Neymar as “normal” on Wednesday as the Brazilian trained alone on the club’s China tour.
The bleach-blond player, linked with a return to his former club Barcelona, practised apart from his team-mates in Shenzhen, southern China, following a late return to club duties.
“When you are a big player, when you are a star, it’s normal every day that clubs want to buy you,” former France international Djorkaeff, now a PSG club ambassador, told reporters.
“This is normal. This is the life of big star. I don’t think it’s a problem for him, actually it’s good because he’s here, this is the most important.”
Earlier this month, PSG’s new sporting director Leonardo opened the door to Neymar’s departure “if there is an offer that suits everyone”.
Neymar joined PSG for a record 222 million euros in 2017 but his chances of returning to Barcelona cannot have been helped by the Catalan club’s signing of France forward Antoine Griezmann.
It has been a troubled summer for Neymar, who missed Brazil’s triumphant Copa America campaign on home soil after suffering an ankle injury in a warm-up friendly against Qatar.
In addition, he was questioned by Brazilian police last month over allegations he raped a woman he met through social media in a Paris hotel. He has denied the accusations.