Marco Verratti has confessed he hopes Neymar will remain at Paris Saint-Germain beyond the summer as La Liga rumours gain traction.
The Brazilian superstar could be set for a return to Spanish football this summer, with former club Barcelona and rivals Real Madrid both credited with a fervent interest.
Could Neymar leave Paris? Five things to know…
- Neymar has been linked with a return to La Liga this summer.
- The Brazilian missed PSG’s opening Ligue 1 win over Nimes on Sunday.
- During the match, Neymar was targeted by some supporters on the terraces, who expressed their desire to see the Brazilian leave the club.
- The latest reports suggest Real are set to sign Neymar in a cash-plus-player offer, with Modric heading the other way.
- But, Verratti has admitted he hopes Neymar will remain in the French capital beyond the summer window.
Neymar played no part in the Parisian’s opening Ligue 1 match against Nimes, with goals from Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria ensuring a resounding win for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
The German tactician responded to claims after the match about Neymar’s absence, insisting the mercurial forward is still recovering from the injury he suffered with Brazil in the Copa America.
And while the South American looks increasingly set to part company from the Parc des Princes this summer, teammate Verratti has disclosed his aspirations for Neymar to remain with the French champions.
“I didn’t listen to that. Supporters can say what they think,” the midfielder told L’Equipe.
“We are very close to Ney. He is a player who gave a lot to Paris. Last year, he scored in important moments.
“As soon as he played, we only talked about him because he is an incredible player who excites everyone.
“I think for him it’s good if things are clear, if he stays or if he leaves. These are things he will manage with the club, but I want him to stay.”
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“Discussions are more advanced than before”
Neymar and his father have been trying to engineer a move away from PSG since the end of the season, and sporting director Leonardo has now revealed the club are in “more advanced” discussions over the sale of the Brazilian than ever before.
“As long as we are in talks — today they exist, while they did not before — it is important for everybody that the future is defined,” said Leonardo.
“Discussions are more advanced than before, but that does not mean there is an agreement. What needs to be defined is if he stays and plays or goes.”