Javier Mascherano sees no reason why Barcelona team-mate Neymar would want to leave the LaLiga club amid reports the Brazil international wants to join Paris St Germain.
The 25-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away from the Nou Camp in recent weeks, with Ligue 1 giants PSG reportedly willing to activate his 222 million euro buyout clause.
But Mascherano does not think the speculation will unsettle Neymar, who he believes is the future of Barcelona.
“He’s accustomed to the pressure and people talking,” the Argentinian told ESPN FC.
“There’s always going to be rumours and news around him. It’s really difficult to give advice. Firstly, I’m not anyone to be giving advice and secondly, I see him really happy here, really happy.
“[Barca] are a club that have made it possible for him to perform at his best. But after that, each person has to make their own decisions.
“In the case of Ney, obviously he is young and I hope he’s here with Barcelona for many more years.
“He is a really important player for the club. Because of his age, he’s the future of the club and we hope we can keep on counting on him.”
Provided by Press Association
Chelsea have announced the signing of striker Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid on a five-year contract.
The 24-year-old striker has agreed a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge in a move believed to be worth around £60 million.
The Spaniard will now join up with the squad on their preseason tour of Asia.
Upon completing his transfer, Morata said: “I am so happy to be here. It’s an incredible emotion to be part of this big club. I am looking to work hard, score as many goals as I can and to win as many trophies as possible.”
Technical director Michael Emenalo added: “We are delighted to complete Alvaro’s signing and welcome him to the club. We believe he can make a great impact for Chelsea and look forward to seeing him in action.
“Alvaro has proven class at the highest level and his quality will be a huge asset to Antonio and the squad.”
Morata comes into the fray for Chelsea as a replacement for Diego Costa who has been heavily linked with a move back to Atletico Madrid.
Southampton captain Virgil van Dijk has said he wants to leave the club, according to new manager Mauricio Pellegrino.
Pellegrino revealed the Dutch defender, a target for Liverpool earlier this summer, has been ordered to train separately from the rest of the squad.
“He is not involved with the team because psychologically he is not 100 per cent,” Pellegrino told BBC Radio Solent.
“When I was talking with him, the boy said that he is not available to play because he wants to leave. I need to work with a player that works at 100 per cent to defend Southampton.
“This is the decision. I had to say, ‘Okay, if you don’t want to be involved because you don’t feel okay, you have to train alone until this period of time’.”
Liverpool ended their interest in Van Dijk last month and apologised to Southampton for their conduct in pursuit of the 26-year-old.
Saints have maintained the centre-back, who signed a new six-year contract last year, is not for sale despite further reported interest from Manchester City and Chelsea.
Southampton begin their Premier League campaign at home to Swansea in four weeks and Pellegrino, who replaced Claude Puel at St Mary’s last month, has not given up hope Van Dijk will be involved.
“We need the player, but 100 per cent – this is the question,” added the former Alaves boss.
“I hope that Virgil can review his feelings, because you know that today players are big business – not just the player but behind him there is a lot of interest.
“I want to help the squad, I want to help Virgil but we need a player, I repeat, involved in every training session, involved not just with the body but with the mind on the pitch with the rest of the players.”
Provided by AFP