Barcelona superstar Neymar will be allowed to make the decision on his future, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed.
Neymar is the subject of a shock move to Paris St. Germain, with the French giants reportedly ready to pay all of his €222million release clause fee.
“Well, you know Neymar is one of our best players, and so we don’t want to lose that player,” Bartomeu told The New York Times.
“We want him to continue, continue with us. He still has four years of his contract, so nothing else to say.
“You know that players decide if they want to leave, they can decide.
“But as far as Barcelona, we want him, and we need him. Because if we want to win, we need the best players possible.”
With PSG offering Neymar €30 million per year after taxes, Barcelona players have taken it upon themselves to convince Neymar to stay.
“Yes,” midfielder Ivan Rakitic told reporters at Barry University in Miami on Thursday, when asked if he understood Neymar’s predicament. “It’s a really difficult decision and we all understand.
“We want him to stay and there’s not much more to say. We will understand [his decision] in any case. I hope he sees things the same way as us. He already knows our opinion. He’s an important part of the dressing room, one of the family and we all want him to stay.”
Asked if Neymar would be making a mistake swapping Barcelona for Paris, Rakitic added: “He knows better than anyone else [if it would be an error].
“Whatever he decides, we will respect it. As a friend and a teammate I would tell him to stay. He won’t have the affection he has here anywhere else. I hope he stays with us, but he has our support whatever happens.”