Agence France-Presse

Talk of a swap deal involving Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar is a “foolish” attempt to divert attention away from Real Madrid’s current plight, says former president Ramon Calderon.

After Saturday’s 1-0 LaLiga defeat to Villarreal left Madrid 16 points behind Barcelona, Spanish radio programme El Larguero suggested Los Blancos could allow Ronaldo to leave in order to bring former Barcelona forward Neymar back to Spain.

Suggestions of a Madrid move for Neymar surfaced in late 2017 and have continued into the new year, despite the Brazil international only moving to Paris Saint-Germain in August.

PSG have continued to refute the claims, and Calderon says bringing them back into the public eye is just a tactic to ease pressure on Zinedine Zidane’s side.

“Filter a story that you are prepared to swap Cristiano for Neymar to cover up the crisis and unrest among the fans is a foolish move and will only impact on the harmony within the squad,” Calderon posted on Twitter.

“There is still much football to be played this season and it’s not a shrewd move to point the finger at the very player who could get the club out of its current situation.”

Real have not won in the league since December 9, when they thumped Sevilla 5-0. Since then they have competed in, and won, the Club World Cup, been beaten 3-0 by Barcelona, defeated Numancia in the Copa del Rey, drawn with Celta Vigo and lost to Villarreal.

PSG, meanwhile, are flourishing in Ligue 1, leading the standings by eight points from second-placed Monaco.

Neymar has scored 11 goals and provided 10 assists in 14 Ligue 1 outings this season, while Ronaldo has scored just four times and provided two assists in 14 league games.

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