The Paris Saint-Germain star’s potential return to Camp Nou after his controversial move two years ago has been one of the themes of the summer, The Independent reported.
But there is a strong belief at the Bernabeu that the 27-year-old’s preference is Madrid despite remaining connections in Catalonia.
President Florentino Perez hopes to leverage this, especially given the internal club analysis that the squad remains short.
The complication for both Spanish giants is Financial Fair Play and hugely bloated wage bills that require significant sales.
But Neymar is desperate to leave this summer and only wants to go to one of the Clasico giants.
That has created something of a standoff between the clubs and a realization they need to act now to get him.
Barcelona has thereby been investigating a loan with obligation to buy, or a swap, which is the policy Madrid is pursuing.
Kylian Mbappe spoke about Neymar’s future after the Ligue 1 opener against Nimes.
“We will try to be as competitive as possible,” Mbappe told Canal Plus.
“I will not lie and we will see what will happen with the situation of Neymar because it is not the same team without him.
“But we will continue and we will try to give the best of ourselves, for us and our loved ones.”