Lionel Messi has urged ex-Barcelona team-mate Neymar to snub a switch to Real Madrid and return to Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain, according to reports.
Neymar, 27, has endured a contentious summer that has included returning late to training with the champions and being dropped for this weekend’s Ligue 1 opener after sporting director Leonardo stated talks about an exit were “more advanced than before”.
Both El Clasico combatants continue to be strongly linked with hiring a superstar forward who netted 105 times in 186 run-outs for Barca before August 2017’s world-record €222 million exit to Parc des Princes.
Marca have stated that Argentina icon Messi has spoken to Neymar on the telephone and urged him to reject advances from Santiago Bernabeu and pursue a comeback to the side he joined from boyhood club Santos in June 2013 for €57.1m.
Neymar retains a firm friendship with Messi and fellow Barca front man Luis Suarez. The La Liga holders hope this could prove pivotal.
Both Barca and Real require either substantial player sales or a part-exchange deal to fund the ambitious move.
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