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I know that Neymar is happy at PSG, says Rakitic

17:14 GMT+3 11/06/2018
Neymar Brazil 2018
While the Croatia midfielder said that the Brazilian is not unsettled in France, he did not completely rule out a move

Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic says that he “knows” Neymar is content at Paris Saint-Germain.

The ex-Barca attacker, who moved to France last summer for a record fee of €222 million (£200m/$262m) has been linked with a new switch to Real Madrid this year.

While his former team-mate Rakitic did not rule out the prospect of the 26-year-old forward moving, he says that talk of the Brazil star being unsettled at Parc des Princes is unfounded.

“Neymar to Real? I hope not!” he told Marca. “I understand that folk must follow their desires and make their decisions. 

“I know that Neymar is very happy in Paris, but I also knew he was happy in Barcelona and still left. 

“If I had to choose, I'd prefer him to stay in Paris.”

The 30-year-old midfielder, meanwhile, has said that he would be delighted if current Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo was to move on, as rumours suggest he might.

“I find it hard to believe that he’d go,” the Croatia star said. “But things change quickly in football… and if he does, I’m not going to lie, I’d be happy.”

He also passed comment on Zinedine Zidane, the man who stepped down as Real Madrid boss last month after leading the side to the Champions League title for the third time in succession.

“At first, it didn't surprise me,” he said.

“But he's chosen his time [to step down] and you've got to take your hat off to him.

“The level he's taken Madrid to is very impressive, something that few would have managed.”

Despite Madrid’s European dominance going unchecked, Barcelona were able to wrestle back the Spanish title from their rivals. 

Rakitic had a significant role to play in that effort, which saw Barca suffer just one single defeat in La Liga all season. He played 55 times for the Catalans overall last term, scoring four goals and laying on a further five.

Now his sights have turned to the international stage with Croatia, with whom he will travel to the World Cup. Group matches against Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland lie ahead for the side managed by Zlatko Dalic.