I want Neymar to stay at PSG – but to be happy – Silva

Real Madrid have reportedly cooled their interest in the Brazil star but rumours persist that the 27-year-old could still return to Barcelona

Thiago Silva wants Neymar to stay at Paris Saint-Germain, but he is eager for his Brazil team-mate to be happy.

Neymar has been linked with a return to Barcelona, two years after leaving the Liga champions for PSG in a world-record €222million (£200m) move.

The forward, who is missing the Copa America due to an ankle injury, is being tipped to leave PSG, while Dani Alves has confirmed he is also departing.

Silva, whose team face Argentina in the Copa America semi-finals on Tuesday, said he hoped Neymar would stay at the Parc des Princes.

“The moment is not conducive to that. We’re in another competition,” the PSG captain told a news conference.

“Of course the will is huge for Ney to remain, but for him to be happy.

“Dani made a statement, he’s out, we lost a great champion and friend. Unfortunately due to injury he was out of the [2018] World Cup, but always a very positive guy. I hope he’s happy where he goes.”

The 27-year-old’s time at PSG has often been fraught despite picking up back-to-back Ligue 1 titles in his two seasons at the club.

Early in his first season he clashed publicly with team-mate Edinson Cavani over penalty-taking duties, with the pair arguing on the pitch about which of them should take the team’s spot-kicks.

And, in spite of his stellar goalscoring record, which stands at 51 goals in 58 appearances for the champions, he has been persistently dogged by rumours linking him with a return to Spain, either with Real Madrid or former club Barcelona.

Ex-Barca star Pedro, who played alongside the South American before heading to Chelsea in 2015, spoke last week about his desire to see Neymar back in Barcelona colours.

He told reporters at a charity event in Tenerife when quizzed on the rumours that the Brazilian star could be about to make a return: “Of course he can come back.

“Neymar, he’s a great player, one of the best in the world. He has shown that at Barca and PSG and I think everyone would see his return positively.”

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