Real Madrid full-back Marcelo admits it would be “difficult” to see compatriot Neymar leave Barcelona for the Santiago Bernabeu.
Protracted contract talks have led to speculation over the former Santos forward’s future and he has been linked with what would be a stunning transfer to the Liga champions’ arch-rivals.
Marcelo, however, considers it unlikely that the 24-year-old could join him in the capital, telling Globoesporte: “It would be difficult for Neymar, who’s making history at Barcelona, to come to Real Madrid.”
The full-back admits Madrid have endured a difficult campaign but is confident that Zinedine Zidane is the right man to lead them forward, given how he has adapted to his role as head coach since replacing Rafael Benitez in January.
“It’s been difficult,” he said. “I think that we didn’t have a good pre-season and that’s why we are paying at the midway stage of the campaign. But we are where we are and we’re going to battle right up until the end. We’ve got a few league games to prepare us for the Champions League, we’ll see.
“He [Zidane] seems to be doing really well to me. It’s difficult to take a side like Real Madrid halfway through the season and with the team getting a lot of criticism, and battling for third place. It’s difficult, but I think he’s doing a good job.
“We’ve still got to get to the end of the season to see where we finish but I am absolutely sure that he will become one of the best coaches in the world.”
Marcelo says discussions are underway over a possible new contract which would see him extend his nine-year spell at the club.
“I’m hoping to stay here for many more years and I’m negotiating a new deal; my current contract is due to run out in 2020. I’ll try and stay here for as long as I possibly can,” he said.
Marcelo was once again overlooked by Dunga for the latest Brazil squad and, though he admits it can be troubling not to be called up, he insists it is not a big distraction.
“I’m not worried at all about that.,” he added. “My objective right now is to continue working and if I get called by the national team, I’ll go. If I don’t, I won’t. I’m not worried about it.
“[It bothers me] a little bit, yes, but it doesn’t affect me at all.”
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