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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Gerard Pique unsure if Neymar will stay or leave Barcelona

Barca says his Instagram post of picture with Brazilian teammate captioned 'he stays' is his opinion and not fact.

Gerard Pique, third from right, hopes Neymar, second right, will choose to stay at Barcelona. Eugene Hoshiko / AP Photo
Gerard Pique, third from right, hopes Neymar, second right, will choose to stay at Barcelona. Eugene Hoshiko / AP Photo

Gerard Pique concedes he does not know for sure whether Neymar will stay at Barcelona amid interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar has been the subject of speculation this summer, with reports that PSG had agreed to activate his release clause of almost £200 million (Dh958.9m).

Barca defender Pique on Sunday posted a message on social media which appeared to suggest the Brazil forward had committed his future to the Nou Camp.

Pique posted a picture of himself with Neymar, along with the simple message "se queda", which translates as "he stays".

It is a move that could potentially alter the landscape of European football, according to football writer Richard Jolly.

However, speaking at a news conference on Tuesday night, Pique acknowledged his opinion was not definitive.

"My Instagram post was a gut thing. I want Neymar to stay. It's my intuition," Pique, 30, said. "It was nothing official, it doesn't depend on me. Only Neymar can say what will happen, but I hope he stays.

"I try to explain to Neymar, as a team-mate and a friend, the situation he's in. I would say don't go to a league which, with all due respect, is not as good."

Barcelona are in the United States on a pre-season tour and Neymar is expected to face Manchester United in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Also read:

Richard Jolly: Pogba’s return statement of United’s enduring prowess

Ian Hawkey: Monaco show PSG value of investing in French talent

John McAuley: Ronaldinho says Neymar ‘at same level’ as Messi