What's the story?
Paris Saint-Germain and Italian midfielder Marco Verratti has voiced his opinion on the Neymar to Barcelona transfer rumours. Verratti believes it is tough to hold on to a player who doesn't want to stay.
In case you didn't know...
Neymar joined PSG from Barcelona for a world-record fee of €222 million, and has scored 51 goals in 59 appearances for the French giants. But he is now being linked with a move back to Spain, with his former employers Barcelona looking to re-sign the Brazilian superstar.
Neymar was a huge success at the Catalan club, forming a deadly trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. Here is a look at some of the highlights from Neymar's time with Barcelona:
Verratti himself had been part of a transfer saga two years ago, with Barcelona almost signing the Italian midfielder. But Verratti decided to stay put, and has played several games with Neymar over the past two seasons.
The heart of the matter
In an interview with Radio Monte Carlo, Verratti spoke about the current situation between Neymar and PSG.
"I haven't had the chance to speak with him but he is going through a tough time after the injury the prevented him from playing at the Copa América," Verratti said.
"It would disappoint me to see him leave, I never like to hear him say he wants to go, I'd prefer if he stayed," he added.
The Italian then drew parallels with his own situation two years ago when Barcelona came calling.
"In those moments, I needed answers from PSG. I didn't see a club that wanted to win the Champions League but after speaking with the club, I was satisfied.
"Nobody forced me to stay but I think if a player wants to go, he will always find a way to do it. When a player really wants to leave, the club has to let him go. I agree with what the club are asking for the transfer, but you can't keep a player that wants to leave the club."
PSG will play their final pre-season friendly against Sydney FC before starting their season against Stade Rennais for the Trophee des Champions on the 18th of August. If Neymar is indeed on his way out, the team is bound to suffer significantly in the immediate future.Published 29 Jul 2019, 22:45 IST