'I would always put Neymar on my team' - Rakitic wants the Brazilian back at Barca

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The midfielder talked up the possibility of the Paris Saint-Germain star returning to the La Liga leaders, who defeated Malaga 2-0 Saturday

Former Barcelona team-mate Ivan Rakitic said he would immediately open the door for former team-mate Neymar to return to Camp Nou.

Neymar left La Liga giants Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record transfer after the Ligue 1 powerhouse activated the Brazil star's €222million buyout clause in August last year.

The 26-year-old forward, who is recovering from a broken foot, has flourished in France but Neymar has been linked with a switch to Real Madrid amid reports he is unsettled in Paris.

Speculation has also linked Neymar with a sensational return to Barca, which head coach Ernesto Valverde rejected, though Rakitic talked up the possibility.

"He has not told me anything, but if it's up to me, I would open the door right now," Rakitic told reporters following Saturday's 2-0 win over Malaga.

"Not only because of the relationship I have with him, but because of the type of player he is.

"I would always put Ney on my team."

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Neymar, who suffered a cracked metatarsal in PSG's 3-0 victory over Marseille last month, has scored 28 goals across all competitions this season but saw his side fall to Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League. 

Barca, meanwhile, are 11 points clear atop the La Liga table after 28 matches and head into their round of 16 second-leg clash with Chelsea all square at 1-1. 

 

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