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Neymar urged to stay at PSG by team-mate Marquinhos

7:31 PM SGT 19/6/19
Neymar Marquinhos PSG 2018-19
The Brazilian superstar has reportedly made it known he is keen to leave the Ligue 1 champions amid talk of a return to Barcelona

Marquinhos insists he wants Neymar to remain with Paris Saint-Germain amid claims the Brazilian is desperate to return to Barcelona.

The 27-year-old frontman endured a difficult second season in the French capital and, according to reports in Spain, has told club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi of his desire to re-join the Catalan Giants.

Neymar signed for the Parc des Princes club in 2017 in a world record €222m (£200m/$249m) transfer but is now reportedly keen to link up with Lionel Messi and Co once more.

However, compatriot Marquinhos is urging his friend, who has been ruled out of Brazil’s Copa America campaign due to an ankle ligament injury, to stay as PSG target Champions League glory having dominated domestically.

The defender spoke to the media following Brazil’s 0-0 draw with Venezuela in the Copa America late on Tuesday night and said: "A player of Neymar's calibre, the differences he makes ... as a team-mate, friend and fan of Neymar, I want him to stay at PSG.”

The centre-back, who himself has been linked with a possible move to Juventus under new coach Maurizio Sarri, admits he has not discussed Neymar’s future plans with him.

“I did not speak with him,” he added. “I totally focus on the selection. He knows what he has to do, our president too. I am not aware of the discussions they had.”

Despite the vast outlay spent to land Neymar, reports have claimed that PSG would be willing to allow him to leave for the right price, with Real Madrid also still interested in signing the attacker.

Speaking to France Football, PSG president Al-Khelaifi revealed: "I want players willing to give everything to defend the honour of the jersey and to join the club project

"Those who do not want that, or do not understand, we will meet and we will talk to each other.

"Nobody forced him to sign here. Nobody pushed him.

"He came knowingly to join a project."

Struggling with injuries and suspension for the vast majority of the 2018-19 campaign, Neymar managed just 17 appearances in Ligue 1, scoring 15 times.