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Iniesta urges Neymar to stay at Barcelona

(Reuters) - Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta said he would rather have Neymar at the club than a massive transfer fee, with speculations linking the Brazilian to Paris Saint-Germain in a world record deal.

Football Soccer - Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao - Spanish King's Cup - Nou Camp stadium, Barcelona, Spain - 11/01/17 Barcelona's Neymar (L) celebrates with team mate Andres Iniesta after scoring his first goal. REUTERS/Albert Gea

PSG have reportedly held discussions with Barcelona about a transfer for the 25 year-old that would smash the world record 89 million pounds ($116.88 million) Manchester United paid for France midfielder Paul Pogba last year.

“I do not think 200-300 million will be more beneficial for Barcelona than having Neymar,” Iniesta told a news conference ahead of the Saturday’s pre-season friendly against Real Madrid.

“He is one of the best players in the world and I always want the best players in my team. I have no doubt that we all wish him to continue with us.

“We would like you (the press) to not keep asking (about Neymar) so much, but to end this, there is only one way: Neymar will speak.”

Neymar, whose buy-out clause at Barcelona was set at over 200 million euros ($234.96 million), canceled a personal appearance in China next week because he was said to be “busy with transfer business”.

Iniesta also confirmed the training bust-up between Neymar and team mate Nelson Semedo on Friday but played it down, saying it only held more significance due to the recent transfer speculations.

“It’s true that there was that incident, which can be part of a training session,” Iniesta added.

“But because of the situation and what is being said about Ney, which is worldwide, it has much more significance. For those of us who are training however, it’s nothing.”

($1 = 0.7614 pounds)

($1 = 0.8512 euros)

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar