Barcelona defender Gerard Pique remains convinced that Neymar will stay at Camp Nou, but said Tuesday his opinion was based on “intuition” rather than inside knowledge.
“It’s a personal opinion from the conversation that I had with him and my intuition,” Pique said at a press conference on the eve of Barcelona’s International Champions Cup friendly against Manchester United in the US capital.
“But it’s not official,” he added. “And it’s not for me to say if he’s going to stay or not.”
On Sunday, Pique had tweeted a picture of Barcelona teammate Neymar with the caption “He’s staying” adding another twist to the ongoing saga of the Brazilian striker’s possible world record 222 million euro ($256.8 million) transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
Pique said his post hadn’t ruffled Neymar.
“I was with Neymar and his friends in his room last night and he’s not angry at all,” Pique said. “On the contrary, he’s happy.
“We’ve been speaking to him. We have a close relationship, not only as teammates but also as friends,” added Pique, who said he didn’t believe Neymar’s contemplation of a move was a matter of money. But he believes if it’s a matter of sporting goals, Neymar remains better off in Barcelona.
“In Paris, if he doesn’t win the Champions League then he’s not going to get the recognition that he deserves,” Pique said.
Argentinian defender Javier Mascherano said he had advised “Ney” to weigh all the pros and cons.
“He has to put things in the balance,” Mascherano said. “What Pique says is the feeling of all of us, we want him to stay. We all want him to stay.”
Meanwhile in Miami, Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery sidestepped questions about the possible acquisition of Neymar.
“We have an obligation to talk about the present, about the players who currently make up the team, our next match,” Emery said at a press conference to promote PSG’s International Champions Cup friendly against Juventus on Wednesday.
“If a new player arrives, we will talk about it then.”