Barcelona star Javier Mascherano has urged Neymar to stay at the Nou Camp for the long-term after the Brazilian ace's father revealed his son had a lucrative offer to move to Manchester United. The former Liverpool midfielder told his teammate that he needs to remain with the La Liga giants if he wants to achieve his goal of being the best player in the world, with a move to a new club likely to derail his progress.
Neymar is contracted at the Nou Camp until 2018, after joining the Catalan side from Santos in 2013. However, his future has been under scrutiny in recent months due to both his issues with the Spanish tax authorities and the club's freeze on pay rises due to debt statutes. Real Madrid, Manchester City and especially Manchester United have all been said to be monitoring the situation, with the Red Devils having already made several approaches to the player with a design to test his €190m (£146.8m, $211m) release clause.
Last week, speaking in court in the ongoing investigation into the details about the player's transfer to Barcelona in 2013, Neymar's father admitted the Brazilian international had received a multi-million offer from an unnamed club to leave the Nou Camp. He later admitted to Cadena Cope that the offer came from United.
Neymar Sr did admit that the player would much rather stay at Barcelona than receive a pay rise to move to England.
Mascherano has now urged his teammate to snub suitors and remain at the Nou Camp, as it represents his best chance of one day becoming Ballon d'Or.
"I'm not one to talk about personal subjects, but the truth is I see him happy and comfortable in Barcelona. If he hopes to be the best in the world in the future, he has to stay at Barcelona, because it's the team that bests suits his style. But it's a personal decision," Mascherano said, as quoted by AS.
Meanwhile, questioned as to whether Neymar hs been affected by his problems with tax authorities, he replied: "I have experienced a similar situation. We all have problems in our lives, but the dressing room has experienced desperate situations, such as illnesses. Everything else can be resolved."