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'Difficult to keep Neymar' admits PSG teammate Marquinhos

Marquinhos accepts PSG may find it difficult to keep Neymar

AFP

Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar is yet again being linked with a move, and Marquinhos suspects it will be hard to keep him.

Neymar's Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Marquinhos accepts the Ligue 1 champions may find it difficult to keep the superstar in France for much longer.

Marquinhos hopes Neymar stays

PSG brought Neymar to Ligue 1 in 2017 for a world-record €222million fee, triggering the release clause in his Barcelona deal and stunning the global game.

Despite scoring 34 goals and setting up another 20 in just 37 league appearances, Neymar's time at PSG has been somewhat unfulfilling, as he has endured two lengthy spells on the sidelines and been unable to help the club achieve their primary goal of winning the Champions League.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is said to have grown frustrated by Neymar's attitude, while the Brazil international is reportedly angling for a return to Barcelona.

But Marquinhos is hopeful Neymar and PSG bury the hatchet, allowing him to stay.

"I hope [Neymar will stay]," Marquinhos told L'Equipe. "He is important.

"It's difficult to sign a player like that in your club. It's also difficult to keep him, but I hope he will continue with us.

"Beyond being an important player, he's also a friend, a guy I love. I really hope he stays."

Neymar paid his Brazil colleagues a visit before Saturday's 5-0 Copa America dismantling of Peru, with the forward missing the tournament due to an ankle ligament injury.

Marquinhos was thrilled to see Neymar doing better physically and mentally following a difficult few weeks.

"We did not talk about his future," Marquinhos said. "I imagine there are already a lot of people who only talk to him about that.

"He's a friend, so we just wanted to know if he felt better, in the head but also physically. He reassured us.

"He can make movements with his foot, he can already hit the ball a little at home. At the beginning, he was really sad. Now he's better, and that's why it made us happy to see him."

Brazil's next Copa America game will be on Thursday in Porto Alegre, where they will face the third-place team from either Group B or C.