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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

PSG continue pursuit of Neymar as Emery targets 'one of the top five players in the world'

Manager of the Ligue 1 club has spoken openly about his desire to recruit a high-profile attacking player.

Barcelona forward Neymar is a key transfer target for Paris Saint-Germain. Manu Fernandez / AP Photo
Barcelona forward Neymar is a key transfer target for Paris Saint-Germain. Manu Fernandez / AP Photo

Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery has said the club "need to buy one of the top five players in the world" in reference to Brazilian forward Neymar, who has been heavily linked with a move to the French capital.

Reports emerged this week claiming PSG had triggered Neymar's €222 million buyout clause in his Barcelona contract, with the player himself keen to secure a move that would shatter the world record transfer fee.

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Those reports have since been denied by Barcelona and Neymar, who insisted he was happy at the Primera Liga club.

However, based on comments made by Emery in an interview with French sports daily L'Equipe on Thursday, PSG have maintained their interest in the Brazil international.

"If we want to rival Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid and win the Champions League we need to buy one of the top five players in the world today," Emery said after watching his side beat Roma on penalties in a friendly in the United States.

"Neymar has advanced his game massively and today he is one of the five best in the world.

"Our president is working hard to attract top players and our fans would be content to count on a new top player to go along with the talent we already have."

As well as Neymar, Emery also mentioned Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez and Monaco teenager Kylian Mbappe as two other players on PSG's radar.

"(Alexis) Sanchez and Mbappe are huge players and what's more Mbappe is French - I want Frenchmen in this French club," he said.

PSG are keen to strengthen this summer after a disappointing season that saw them relinquish the Ligue 1 title to Monaco and suffer a stunning elimination in the Uefa Champions League last 16 stage when they blew a 4-0 first leg lead against Barcelona to lose the reverse fixture 6-1.

Brazilian full-back Dani Alves has been recruited from Juventus, while new sporting director Antero Henrique has been tasked with recruiting a top attacking player and keeping unsettled stars Marquinhos and Marco Veratti, according to Emery.