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The Brazil international has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League, along with a sensational switch to Real Madrid, but has been urged to stay at Camp Nou

Neymar must stay at Barcelona if he is to be ranked alongside the world's very best players, according to defender Javier Mascherano .

The Brazil forward is yet to extend his contract at Camp Nou but is reported to be negotiating with the club, as his current deal is set to expire at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

Neymar has scored 21 goals in all competitions thus far this season and is reported to have attracted the interest of both Manchester City and Manchester United, with the attacker recently airing his desire to work with incoming City head coach Pep Guardiola .

Mascherano, though, insists that Barcelona is the best place for his team-mate as he attempts to fulfil his huge potential.


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"Ney is very settled and happy here," he is quoted as saying by Marca .

"I think Barcelona are the ideal club for him if he wants to be among the very best in the world because of our style of play and how hard it is to settle in at a European club, which he has already managed."

Mascherano does not believe Neymar is being affected by off-pitch concerns as he and his father fight accusations of tax evasion and fraud in respective Spanish and Brazilian cases.

"We all have problems in life, we have to resolve them and try to ensure they don't affect or influence the atmosphere in our working lives," said the Argentina international.

"I don't see why they should, especially in a dressing room such as ours that has gone through much tougher situations, such as illnesses."

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