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Thiago Silva on Neymar, Barcelona Transfer Rumours: 'I Feel He Can Stay' at PSG

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2019

PARIS, FRANCE - AUGUST 17: Neymar Jr and Thiago Silva warmup during a Paris Saint-Germain training session at Centre Ooredoo on August 17, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva has said he is hopeful Neymar will stay at the club beyond the current transfer window despite continued speculation regarding his future.

Both Barcelona and Real Madrid are reportedly interested in signing the Brazil international ahead of the window closing on September 2. Any move would come just a couple of years on from PSG making Neymar the most expensive player in the history of the game when he signed from Barcelona.

Silva said he's unsure whether his compatriot, who has yet to feature for PSG this season, will stick around, although said he wants him to remain in the French capital for the upcoming term, per James Westwood of Goal:

"Of course we miss him. I hope that in the end, he will be able to stay with us because he is an incredible guy, an indispensable player for this team but we have to wait for what will happen at the end of the transfer window.

"I cannot answer [if he will leave], but I feel he can stay. Neymar is a key player on this team, and he decides if he's happy to stay or not. We do not have to talk, it's always complicated, for a lot of things, we try to talk a little bit about it.

"It is difficult to get into things like that, it's between him and the club right now. We have to wait until the end to see what he decides, but I hope that in the end, he will stay. That way we will be much stronger."

Silva was speaking after PSG suffered a shock 2-1 defeat away at Rennes in their second game of the Ligue 1 season.

Romain Del Castillo scored the winner:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

Eduardo Camavinga, remember the name 🙌 The 16-year-old put on a stunning display against PSG last night, including this utterly sublime assist for the winner! We repeat, 16-years old! 👀 https://t.co/fkuT9Vy3u6

As The Spanish Football Podcast relayed, speculation linking Neymar with a move to Barcelona and Real Madrid remains incessant in Spain:

The Spanish Football Podcast @tsf_podcast

@alexkirkland @LaLigaEN More on today's 🇪🇸⚽️ headlines... 🗞️ Marca: "Atleti begin with enthusiasm" 🗞️ As: "Neymar: Madrid counter-attack" 🗞️ Mundo Deportivo: "Neymar wants Barça" 🗞️ Sport: "Wild negotiations" Here's the #tsfp Morning Paper Review ➡️ https://t.co/2vO8x9wZjT https://t.co/TqyJDHD2FY

The signing of Neymar in 2017 stunned the football world, although the transfer hasn't worked out completely as planned for PSG.

In the past two seasons, Neymar has suffered injuries that have ruled him out of the run-in, including crucial UEFA Champions League last-16 ties that PSG have lost. 

Neymar has been effective for the French champions, though:

Squawka Football @Squawka

PSG signed Neymar for a world-record €222m fee in 2017 and now, with Philippe Coutinho at Bayern, he might be heading back to Barça. • 58 games • 51 goals • 28 assists #SquawkaScout is back w/ @FootballIndex. https://t.co/8bGhTb3TCe

Ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, PSG confirmed Neymar returned late for pre-season training, and during the team's Ligue 1 opener, supporters at the Parc des Princes unfurled banners calling for the forward to be sold:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

'Neymar, go away' The PSG fans have lost patience with the Brazillian 👀 https://t.co/JwAF0HWCXk

Per football journalist Tom Williams, jokes have been made about possible retractions in the aftermath of the loss to Rennes:

Tom Williams @tomwfootball

“NEYMAR COME BACK” - joke doing the rounds in France after PSG’s defeat at Rennes last night https://t.co/hXbjRCSokM

If Neymar can get fit and focused in the coming weeks, he still has the talent to be a major asset for PSG as they seek domestic and European glory. It appears key figures in the squad are still keen on him sticking around, too.

However, talk of interest from Spain doesn't seem to be fading away, meaning his future is likely to be in doubt right up until September 2.