Fred: Neymar should stay in Brazil

The former Lyon forward says Brazil as a footballing nation would greatly benefit from retaining a star of the Santos phenomenon's stature within the domestic game
Fluminense striker Fred believes compatriot Neymar should remain in Brazil amid the endless speculation linking him with a move abroad.

The 21-year-old is widely believed to be one of the most sought-after talents in world football and has reportedly courted the interest of European giants Bayern Munich and Barcelona, the latter of which are understood to be front-runners to land the star.

However, the 29-year-old says Neymar should refuse the allure of playing in Europe by staying local in a bid to improve the domestic game.

"We Brazilians have to thank god to have a player like him in Brazil. We have to strengthen the chorus of support to get him to stay here, but in the end he will decide," he told reporters at a press conference in Geneva.

"Brazilian football is at a very high level and it will help the country with the 2014 World Cup if our stars stayed close to home."

Fred is expected to partner the Santos star in attack for Selecao's friendly with Italy on Thursday, which is followed by a clash with Russia five days later.