"We're waiting for you," said a smiling Luka Modric as he exchanged shirts with Neymar after Croatia's defeat to Brazil on Sunday. In the process, the midfielder became the latest Real Madrid player to publicly make eyes at the Bernabéu target, who - following 99 days on the sidelines with a foot injury - enjoyed a goalscoring return to action in the World Cup warm-up at Anfield.
Real Madrid out to sign Neymar from PSG
A little over a month ago, Real set in motion their bid to make the signing of the Paris Saint-Germain striker a reality, in what is certain to prove a long, complex and expensive deal to complete, with Los Blancos likely to have to part with at least 300m euros (plus the cost of his salary) to buy him from the Ligue 1 outfit.
However, Neymar wants to leave France, and his father's movements (he has contacted Pini Zahavi, the agent who had a hand in his switch to PSG from Barcelona, to push through his son's exit) have fuelled Real optimism that they will be able to seal a swoop which, in the main, has the dressing room's approval.
Sergio Ramos: "The door is open for Neymar"
Modric's come-to-Madrid message to Neymar this weekend comes on the back of several public thumbs-ups to the 26-year-old's potential arrival in the Spanish capital. Among the first to offer their blessing was Sergio Ramos, who in November told an interview with radio station Cadena SER: "The door is open for Neymar." Late last month, the club captain then reiterated that statement.
And a number of other members of the squad have followed suit. Marcelo, Neymar's friend and Brazil colleague, admitted in February that he saw the former Barça man ending up in Madrid: "I think Neymar will play for Real one day - he would fit into the side perfectly," he declared. Meanwhile, Dani Carvajal, Casemiro and Raphael Varane each echoed Ramos' sentiments by telling three different radio broadcasters: "The door is open at Real Madrid." "There's always room at Real for the best in the world," added Achraf Hakimi just over a month ago.
Neymar a long-standing target for Real Madrid president
And, of course, one man who has not been shy about sending positive signals to Neymar is Florentino Pérez; after all, the club president has coveted him for years. Which is why, in addition to sending Real representatives to Brazil to initiate contact with the player's camp recently, he had no hestitation in flirting with the star on the night Cristiano Ronaldo was presented with the Ballon d'Or in December.
Cristiano doesn't share his colleagues' enthusiasm...
That went down very badly with Cristiano, who - unlike his Real Madrid colleagues - has consistently avoided endorsing a move for Neymar. "There's always talk of signings and no-one comes," the Portuguese said last month. "Then it's the same players who get us to the Champions League final."