Neymar back in Barca squad for Sociedad clash
Brazilian forward Neymar could make his return for Barcelona after three weeks out with a sprained ankle in his side’s Copa del Rey semi-final, second leg away to Real Sociedad on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old has been included in Barca boss Gerardo Martino’s 25-man squad for the game in San Sebastian as the Catalans aim to convert their 2-0 lead from the first leg into a third final appearance in four years.
“He has had two training sessions with the group, he doesn’t feel any pain and physically he is in good shape. We will see between the game tomorrow (Wednesday), Saturday against Rayo and Manchester City when he will play”, said Martino at a press conference on Tuesday.
Neymar’s return would be a big boost for Barca just under a week before they travel to face Manchester City in the standout tie of the Champions League last 16.
However, Martino insisted he won’t rush Neymar back into action for the City game if he is not 100 per cent ready to return.
“As I said in another press conference, the fact the Manchester game is one that everyone speaks about doesn’t make it a milestone.
“He could play before or after, but in any case it will be when we think it is right and when there is less risk for the player looking to the future.”
Martino already has one minor trophy under his belt since taking over as Barca coach having claimed the Spanish Supercup on away goals against Atletico Madrid back in August.
However, he is keen to make sure his side have another final to look forward to before leaving Cup duties on hold until April to concentrate on La Liga and the Champions League.
“We are 90 minutes away from one of only three finals you can play in a season.
“I think it is the right thing with everyone available and would be important at this stage of the season to qualify for a final.”