Thiago Motta says Neymar would be welcomed by Paris Saint-Germain’s players “with open arms”, amid reports the Brazil star has agreed personal terms at Parc des Princes.
The prospect of Neymar departing Barcelona for the big-spending Ligue 1 club is the most surprising story of the off-season transfer market, and PSG will be required to smash the world transfer record by parting with €222million to activate the release clause in the 25-year-old’s contract.
Speaking after a 3-2 International Champions Cup defeat to Juventus in the United States on Wednesday, veteran midfielder Motta made no secret of the excitement among the PSG squad at the prospect of the stunning coup being completed.
“Of course we talk,” he said.
“He’s a great player. Which team would not want Neymar? Everyone would like to have him on his team.
“Barca do not want to lose him…he can make a difference. If he comes, we will wait for him with open arms.
“I hope that it will end well for the PSG, because playing with a player of this level is rare and is difficult to find. But why not?”
Asked if a player of Neymar’s calibre could make the difference in PSG’s quest to win the Champions League, Motta replied: “All teams lack this type of player.
“To find a player of this level is very difficult. He can play anywhere and of course he can play for PSG, I do not need to say it. He’s a player of another level.”
PSG have conceded seven goals in their last two friendlies against Tottenham and Juve, prompting Motta to call for the team to raise their level in the Trophee des Champions against Monaco in Tangier on Saturday.
“The defensive problems concern the whole team, from the first attacker,” he said.
“We have to improve because we have conceded a lot of goals and a great team cannot afford that.
“It will have to be better against Monaco. In tough times in a match you have to be united.
“We showed last year that we can do it, why we would not be able to do it this year?”
— PSG English (@PSG_English) July 27, 2017
According to Motta, PSG will be determined to come out on top in the curtain-raiser against last season’s surprise Ligue 1 title-winners, before their attention turns to reclaiming the domestic crown.
“It’s a final, you have to win,” he said.
“Afterwards, it will be necessary to reconquer the title of champion of France. This is the first objective because you have to do that regularly. It’s never easy.
“We will have time to think about the other competitions like the Champions League and the two cups a little later.”
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