Ernesto Valverde has conceded that the possibility of Neymar making a return to Barcelona is "unlikely" but he refused to completely rule out making a move for the at least reportedly unsettled Paris Saint-Germain star.
Despite leaving Camp Nou in a €222m world-record deal last year, speculation continues to run rife regarding a return to Spain for Neymar, after he reportedly struggled to settle in the French capital.
With Neymar dominating newspaper headlines, Valverde was questioned on the possibility of his return, and he did not completely rule out the possibility.
"I coached him for 15 days. Any time of the season is good for thinking about these issues, but Neymar plays for a different team. This is all speculation," Valverde told reporters, via AS.
"It's not even in a transfer period at the moment, so I can't talk about a player and it's not something that'd happen in the next month or so anyway. Anything can happen in football, but it's hard, unlikely. I don't know, we'll see."
After a run of four games without a win and performances leaving a lot to be desired Valverde is under increasing pressure, and he now faces three difficult fixtures in the space of seven days.
On what lies ahead, he added: "They are three important games, firstly because we play against Sevilla who are the leaders.
"It's the first time since I arrived that we haven't been top, it's different. Then Inter come, we'll be playing for top spot in the group, and then the Clasico, which we know what it means.
"It's a beautiful, intense week and I'm looking forward to it."