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Filipe Luis hopes Neymar returns to Barca for the good of Brazilian football

08:47 GMT+3 22/07/2019
Neymar PSG 2019
While the former Atletico star would like to see his international team-mate return to the La Liga champions, he knows it will not be easy.

Filipe Luis said he hopes Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar returns to La Liga champions Barcelona for the good of Brazilian football.

Neymar wants to leave Ligue 1 holders PSG, with a move back to former club Barca on the cards two years on from his world-record €222 million (£199m/$249m) exit.

Real Madrid are another possible destination for Neymar, whose future is dominating headlines during the off-season.

PSG sporting director Leonardo has conceded Neymar can leave, but he has said no club have made an acceptable offer for the star. 

While Filipe Luis would like to see his Brazil team-mate return to Camp Nou, the former Atletico Madrid full-back acknowledged it will not be easy.

"I want him to finish in Barcelona," Filipe Luis told Cope's Tiempo de Juego program.

"At Barca, Neymar is happy. I want him to enjoy and play next to [Lionel] Messi.

"I hope, for the good of Brazilian football, that Neymar returns to Barca, but I think it will not be easy."

Filipe Luis was speaking having confirmed his departure from Atletico following eight seasons with the La Liga side.

The 33-year-old – who started his career at Figueirense – is reportedly set to return to Brazil via Flamengo on a free transfer.

It has been a busy off-season for Atletico, who have lost Antoine Griezmann, Lucas Hernandez, Rodri and Diego Godin but signed Joao Felix, Hector Herrera, Marcos Llorente, Kieran Trippier, Felipe and Renan Lodi.

Atletico have also been linked with Real Madrid and Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez, who is wanted by Serie A side Napoli.

Napoli have been vocal in their pursuit, with coach Carlo Ancelotti hoping for a reunion with the player he coached at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, but Filipe Luis is hopeful Atletico can land the Colombia star. 

Filipe Luis added: "Having a player like James at Atletico would be very interesting, it would not be bad. Whoever comes will help but signing James would be spectacular."