Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta has made it clear that Barcelona would rather keep Neymar Jr. than accept the jaw-dropping €222m from Paris Saint-Germain.
The midfielder says his Brazilian teammate is worth more than €300m, a statement which tends to complicate the prolonged transfer agreements between Barca and PSG.
Media reports confirm the Ligue 1 side are ready to part with Neymar’s release clause although an unfriendly relationship between the club owners seem to have stalled the 25-year-old’s move to France.
Image: Neymar Jr.
Neymar, a former Santos player, is said to be frustrated with the transfer saga. His recent fall-outs with other footballers, especially a fellow Barca teammate who recently joined from Benfica, Nelson Semedo, shows how bad the weeks have been.
“He [Neymar] is worth more than the amount PSG has offered to pay for his services, $200m or $300m,” Iniesta said in a pre-match interview ahead of Saturday’s El-Clasico clash against Real Madrid at the International Champions Cup.
“We love the way he plays, and we’re sure he will improve as a Barca player.”
Iniesta however added that all rumors about Neymar’s exit from Camp Nou can only be squashed when the involved player speaks out, noting that Ney is one of the world’s best players.
“I hope he stays at Barca for many more years. That would be great news for the club and for him,” the World Cup winner added. “…For me, I have no doubt that we all want him to stay.”
Iniesta answered questions about Friday’s training incident between Neymar and new arrival Semedo which went viral on the internet.
“It’s true that there was that incident, which can be part of a training session,” the Spain international footballer said. “But because of the situation and what is being said about Ney, which is worldwide, it has much more significance.
“For those of us who are training however, it’s nothing.”
The trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar (MSN) have been a formidable front-line for Barca.
However, and the Uruguayan star player Suarez says it won’t matter much if his Brazilian teammate decides to leave Camp Nou, but adds that he will surely be missed.
“It will be a pity if he leaves Barcelona,” the former Liverpool player said. “It won’t affect the love we have for him.
“We all want him to stay with us. He is one of the best three players in the world and we need to enjoy him a little bit.”
Barcelona recently confirmed that Neymar will join the team in their tour of China after the trip was initially canceled due to transfer issues.
Ctrip, a travel company earlier announced that the fan event which was scheduled in Shanghai, China on 31 July had been canceled for the same reason.
Nonetheless, Neymar tweeted a confirmation on China’s popular social media site Weibo, saying he’d be in the Asian country as planned. The post was sent ahead of Barca’s Saturday match against Real Madrid.
“Greetings to the fans in China! I’m Neymar Jr, this is my official weibo account. I am going to be sharing my own personal experiences here with Chinese fans,” Neymar wrote.
“I’m looking forward to your following and reposting! See you in Shanghai on Monday!”