'I want him to stay' - Verratti hopes Neymar remains at PSG amid Real Madrid and Barca links

Neymar - cropped
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The Brazilian has been linked with a return to Spain before the transfer deadline, but a Parc des Princes team-mate hopes the star will stay

Marco Verratti wants Neymar to stay at Paris Saint-Germain amid reports the mercurial forward is set for an exit from the Ligue 1 champions.

Neymar missed PSG's 3-0 win over Nimes on Sunday, with his move from the Parc des Princes – reportedly to either Barcelona or Real Madrid – seemingly getting closer.

Thomas Tuchel's side picked up a comfortable home win in their opening fixture thanks to goals from Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria.

Neymar was targeted by supporters during the match, who called for the 27-year-old to leave the club.

Verratti, who played 90 minutes against Nimes, is eager for the Brazil international to remain with PSG.

"I didn't listen to that. Supporters can say what they think," the midfielder told L'Equipe.

"We are very close to Ney. He is a player who gave a lot to Paris. Last year, he scored in important moments.

"As soon as he played, we only talked about him because he is an incredible player who excites everyone.

"I think for him it's good if things are clear, if he stays or if he leaves. These are things he will manage with the club, but I want him to stay."

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Neymar has scored 51 goals in 58 games for PSG since joining the club from Barcelona for a world-record fee of €222 million ($249m, £207m) two years ago.

However, his time at Parc des Princes has been blighted by injuries and disciplinary issues, with Mbappe taking centre stage for the French champions.

PSG make the trip to Rennes in their second Ligue 1 game of the season on Sunday, before hosting Toulouse seven days later.