Neymar 'always welcome' at Barcelona says Luis Suarez as he backs Lautaro Martinez transfer chase

George Flood
The Brazil national is one of Paris St-Germain's top players: AP

Luis Suarez says Neymar will always be welcome back at Barcelona, while he has also lavished praise upon potential long-term replacement Lautaro Martinez.

Brazilian superstar Neymar initially left Camp Nou in somewhat acrimonious fashion back in August 2017, joining Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record deal worth £200million.

However, despite that the 28-year-old has frequently been linked with a return to Barcelona, with recent reports from Spain suggesting that PSG now see his exit as "inevitable".

Neymar scored 105 goals in 186 games for Barca during his initial four-year stint in Catalonia, helping the club to win a plethora of silverware including two LaLiga titles, the Champions League, three consecutive Copa del Reys and the Club World Cup.

The players signed to fill the gap left by the former Santos prodigy - namely the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann - have largely struggled to replicate that sort of production for different reasons and Suarez claims none of the Blaugrana squad would have an issue with his return.

Barcelona are also chasing a deal for Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez (Getty Images)

"It is difficult to talk about players today. As is the situation in the world today, talking about who can come because of how everything is, is complicated," he told Mundo Deportivo.

"Obviously Ney, everyone knows him and we know the appreciation that we have for him in the dressing room, which is as a player is indisputable because he still has a lot to give and in the dressing room he would always be welcome because of the affection he has," he told Mundo Deportivo.

Suarez was also content to highlight the attributes of Martinez, currently Barcelona's no1 transfer target as they seek to find a successor to the Uruguayan, who turned 33 and underwent knee surgery in January.

He particularly focused on the player's rapid development since leaving Racing Club for Inter Milan in 2018, where he has since built a reputation as one of Serie A's most-feared marksmen.

"Lautaro is a player who has been growing a lot in Italy, he is a 'nine' who has movements that are spectacular and that reflects how great a striker he is," Suarez said.

On competition for places at Barcelona, where Suarez's current contract lasts until next summer, he added that "players who come to fight for a place and help the team will always be welcome, it will always be better and it will strengthen the group".

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