Barca Captain Insists PSG Target Neymar Is Way More Valuable Than Reported £196m Price Tag
Amid the near-deafening levels of transfer speculation surrounding Neymar, Barcelona captain and club legend Andres Iniesta has claimed that the Catalans would benefit more from retaining the Paris Saint-Germain target, rather than accepting even €300m for him.
The veteran Barca playmaker clearly considers the Brazilian superstar to be a priceless asset to La Blaugrana's cause, and he confirmed as much in quotes published by Marca.
Iniesta and Neymar's fellow forward Luis Suarez faced the media ahead of their Champions Cup clash with bitter rivals Real Madrid, and plenty of talk focussed on the future of Neymar.
The 25-year-old's future at the Nou Camp has been intensely debated ever since rumours emerged of Paris Saint-Germain's perceived interest in prising the £196m-rated footballer away from the Catalan giants and, as well as slamming the press for stoking the fires of this summer's saga, Iniesta insisted Barcelona would be better off keeping hold of Neymar.
He said: "We would like you [the press] to not keep asking [about Neymar] so much, but to end this. There is only one outcome to this: Neymar will speak [when he is ready].
"I do not think 200-300 million will be more beneficial for Barcelona than having Neymar.
"He is one of the best players in the world and I always want the best players in my team. I have no doubt that we all wish him to continue with us."
In a transfer saga that has gone back and forth over the past two weeks, Neymar is apparently on the verge of moving to PSG after agreeing personal terms, while his teammates at Barça are attempting to sway him back into staying. His teammates with the possible exception of club new boy Nelson Semedo, who was caught on camera squaring up to the Brazilian in a video clip that instantly went viral.
Iniesta confirmed that there had been a disagreement between the pair ahead of the prep-season Clasico meeting with Real Madrid in the US, but played down suggestions that it had anything to do with growing pressure surrounding Neymar's future.
He added: "It's true that there was that incident, which can be part of a training session. 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."
Suarez, who is believed to have been one of the senior players to try and persuade Neymar to stay in Catalunya, added his own two cents' worth to the debate as he agreed with Iniesta's reply.
He said: "Neymar will give his explanations. We have to support him with the decision he makes."