Barcelona defender Gerard Pique reiterated his desire for Neymar to return to the Camp Nou next season.
"Tweet was nothing official, it doesn't depend on me," Pique said Tuesday, alluding to a tweet he sent in which he wrote Neymar was staying at Barcelona, per ESPN FC's Samuel Marsden. "Only Ney can say what will happen, but I hope he stays."
Pique added, however, that Neymar is unlikely to eclipse Lionel Messi as long as the five-time Ballon d'Or winner remains at the club.
"Neymar cannot be the protagonist at Barcelona, because the best will always be Messi, always," Pique said, per Selecao Brasileira.
Neymar is the subject of the summer's juiciest rumor, linking him to Paris Saint-Germain. Marca's Carlos Carpio reported PSG was prepared to deposit the €222 million necessary to meet Neymar's release clause with Barcelona, and Sky Sports' Kaveh Solhekol shared the astronomical financial details behind the move:
PSG manager Unai Emery declined to discuss the transfer speculation during a press conference Tuesday ahead of the club's International Champions Cup match against Juventus on Wednesday.
"There will be moments to talk about transfers; now is the time to talk about the preparation [for Juventus]," he said, per FourFourTwo. "The club is working very well so that we can make the best team possible with the players who are here and those who will come in."
As much as his move from Brazilian club Santos to Barcelona became not a matter of if, but when, in 2013, the same sense of inevitability is quickly becoming the case regarding Neymar's departure from the Spanish giants, regardless of the pleas from his team-mates.