Dani Alves claims Neymar informed him of his desire to join Paris Saint-Germain several weeks ago, helping to convince the full-back to make a move.
The Brazilian has smashed the world transfer record by completing a €222 million switch to the French capital from Barcelona. He suggested at his unveiling that his choice had been made a matter of days before a deal was done, but Alves says that was not the case.
The 34-year-old has revealed that he was aware of Neymar’s desire to join PSG long before an agreement was pushed through, with that ambition making his mind up as he weighed up his options after leaving Serie A champions Juventus.
Alves told reporters after helping his new club to open the new Ligue 1 season with a 2-0 victory over Amiens, with Neymar in attendance: “It was he who advised me to come here because he was himself ready to come.
“Having my friends close to me is always a pleasure, a great honour. I’m sure we’ll try to help him be happy here.
“I have nothing to do with it. Neymar is big now. He is no longer the young boy who has arrived in Barcelona. At that time, yes, I helped Neymar and advised him to come to Barcelona. But not here in Paris. I have done practically nothing.”
Neymar played no part in Saturday’s victory at Parc des Princes, with his international clearance not coming through in time to make his debut. He could, however, figure in a trip to Guingamp next weekend, with PSG eager to unleash their big-money signing as soon as possible.