Lionel Messi has reportedly told former team-mate Neymar not to use Barcelona in order to get a better contract at Real Madrid.
The pair struck up a strong friendship during their four years together at the Nou Camp and that bond is said to have remained despite Neymar’s world-record move to PSG last summer.
The duo remain in regular contact, with transfer speculation often their main topic to discuss, according to the report in the Sunday Express.
However, the latest talk in Spain suggests that Messi has delivered a ‘warning’ to Neymar as rumours over a potential move to Real for the Brazilian gather pace.
Don Balon states that Messi was one of the first to know about Neymar planning to leave Barca for PSG and that he has apparently discovered Real is most likely to be the 25-year-old’s desired destination when he next moves on.
Messi is said to have tried to convince Neymar that a return to Catalonia would be better than joining their bitter rivals, but that having failed to tempt him to take that path a ‘very angry’ Messi has allegedly told his former team-mate not to use Barcelona’s interest as a bargaining chip.
The Argentine superstar is seemingly resigned to the fact that his friend will end up at Real and is prepared to accept it along as Neymar does not give Barca fans false hope that he may be re-signed.