Marquinhos admits keeping Neymar could prove 'difficult' for PSG

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The Brazil winger has been most notably linked with a return to Barcelona this summer, but his team-mate in Paris is hoping his mind is in France

Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos hopes Neymar will remain with the Ligue 1 champions next season amidst rumours of a move away.

The Brazilian forward has been linked with a return to Barcelona in recent weeks, as well as a move to fierce rivals Real Madrid who have been bolstering their squad with serious firepower during the summer transfer window.

Neymar is missing his country’s Copa America campaign after rupturing ankle ligaments in friendly against Qatar earlier this month, but his absence has only meant questions regarding his future have instead been fielded to his team-mates.

Speaking to L’Equipe on Sunday, PSG team-mate Marquinhos said: “It's difficult to recruit a player like him into your club and it's hard to keep him, but I hope he'll continue with us.

“He is an important player, he's also a friend, a guy I love, and I really hope he'll stay.

“We have not talked about his future, I guess there are already a lot of people who only talk to him about it.”

The centre-back also revealed that Neymar’s recovery is going well, with the 27-year-old already starting to strike a ball.

“He's a friend, so we just wanted to know if he was feeling better, mentally and physically,” he added.

“He can make movements with his foot, he can already hit the ball a little at home.

“At the beginning of this he was really sad but today he is better, and that's why it made us happy to see it.”

Neymar is not the only Brazilian who has been linked with a move away from the Parc des Princes this summer however, with captain Thiago Silva rumoured to be a target for former club AC Milan.

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Marquinhos again spoke of his importance to the side, saying: “When I arrived at PSG, he was my idol and I wanted to imitate him.

“He is an important player for the club, he is our captain and brings all his experience to the young players who need it.

“He had a good season, put in good performances and we cannot blame him, I hope he will continue with us.”

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