'Barcelona and Neymar need one another'

The ex-Atletico Madrid star claims the 21-year-old would be a perfect fit at Camp Nou as the move would satisfy both parties and thus prove beneficial in the long run
Former Brazil midfielder Juninho has urged Barcelona to step up their efforts to sign Neymar after suggesting that the club and the player "need each other".

The Santos forward has continually been linked with the Catalan giants, and their failure to sufficiently challenge for the Champions League has fueled another wave of speculation ahead of the transfer window.

And the one-time Atletico Madrid ace expects the Blaugrana to win the race to land the attacker this summer, believing that both parties would benefit greatly from any potential move.

"Everyone's saying that Neymar will leave in the middle of the year, and Barcelona have been mentioned [as his new club] all along," he told Onda Cero.

"I do believe Neymar needs European experience. He will need to adapt at first because Brazilian football is a little different.

"From what I know, he might go to Barcelona, it's what everyone has been saying in Brazil since forever. Barcelona don't have the unity they had a few years ago, they need to bring in reinforcements.

"I think he [Neymar] would enjoy Barcelona more because of their playing style. He would fit better there."

Juninho then turned his attentions to the upcoming Copa del Rey final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid and backed the Rojiblancos to cause an upset at the Santiago Bernabeu, paying tribute to their coach and his ex-team-mate, Diego Simeone.

"It's hard when there's such an uneven clash, but this particular match, it will certainly make every player gain focus, more than a Liga fixture. In this particular match, they [Atletico] might beat Real at the Bernabeu," he added.

"Real and Barcelona have put themselves on a higher level compared to the other teams [in Spain]. It's very hard to compete with them, as they have such enormous economic potential.

"Every team in Spain has a hard time dealing with such powerful opponents. When I was at Atletico, we had a very competitive squad, that could be compared to Real. We went to the Bernabeu with a lot confidence and played a very good match.

"The supporters like [Simeone] very much, and so do the club - it is a mutual feeling. He did an astonishing job there when he was a player, always guiding his team-mates, and so coaching was a natural step for him."