Neymar hails Lionel Messi as the best player in the world

Brazil international Neymar has hailed Lionel Messi as the best player in the world amid the recent speculation linking him with a return to Barcelona. The 27-year-old is currently with Paris Saint-Germain whom he joined from Barcelona two years ago but reports have indicated that he would favour a reunion with Messi at the Camp Nou this summer.

Speaking to reporters, Neymar said that Messi remains the best player in the world on his point of view and the duo share a fond relationship off the playing field, he told: “For me, he’s the best player in the world. The best player that I’ve ever seen play. We made a magnificent duo. It was a pleasure for me, an honour to play with him. And, on top of that, he is my friend.”

Neymar has been fancied to make the switch to the Blaugrana this summer but so far, the club have refused suggestions that they are looking to land his signature. Nonetheless, talks are understood to be going on behind the scenes and reports suggest that the Spanish champions would prefer an exchange of players for the attacker rather than matching the world-record £200m fee which Les Parisiens paid to sign him two years ago.

Elsewhere, the Blaugrana have further strengthened their ranks with the purchase of Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid. The Frenchman had been touted to join the club for the past few seasons and he has eventually landed at the Camp Nou this summer after the Catalans decided to trigger the £108m release clause on his Atletico contract.

Ernesto Valverde’s side have dominated the proceedings in the Spanish league with back-to-back titles and the club could give more priority to the Champions League this term where they have come short over the past four seasons. The club have not reached the final since winning the competition against Juventus during the 2014/15 season.