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Rivaldo tips Barcelona to beat Real Madrid for Neymar

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Brazil legend Rivaldo doesn’t think Neymar will end up in a Real Madrid jersey next week as he eyes a dream Barcelona reunion.

All summer long, Real and Barcelona have been in the middle of a hotly disputed battle for Neymar. It came in light of news that the Brazilian wants out of Paris Saint-Germain and favours a La Liga comeback.

While Barcelona are allegedly the 27-year-old’s preferred destination, Real are by no means out of contention. Reports have, in fact, claimed that PSG would rather do business with Los Blancos compared to their Catalan rivals.

With the European transfer window closing next Monday, though, both clubs are in a race against time. Currently, Barcelona are allegedly plotting one last move in trading Ousmane Dembele and Ivan Rakitic plus €125m for Neymar.

And Rivaldo, who scored 133 goals in 238 games at Camp Nou, believes his compatriot will end up at Barcelona.

“I can’t see Neymar signing for Real Madrid because the player wants to return to Barcelona and the club seems focused on making that a reality before the transfer deadline,” Rivaldo told Betfair.

“I believe Barcelona won’t let Neymar escape and despite all that happened with him leaving the club a few years ago, he would always be an excellent signing for the team and could quickly convince Blaugrana fans once again with his excellent quality on the pitch.”

Despite his recurring injury problems, Dembele will likely remain a Blaugrana player even if Neymar joins. Although Rivaldo doesn’t see why his old club can’t send the Frenchman to PSG this summer anyway.

“I don’t see Barcelona trying to get rid of Ousmane Dembele because of his constant problems – he is a great player with big potential,” said the Brazilian.

“But if Neymar returns to the club, Dembele would perhaps lose his place in the squad, and using him as exchange instead of spending too much money could be an option for Barcelona.

“Neymar can give what other players can’t. He knows the locker room and the club’s supporters, and in addition to his quality as a player he knows most of his teammates who would enjoy having him on their side again. And Neymar is also looking ready to return and grab some more titles with the club.

“I suppose we’ll have a few more big transfers before Deadline Day. I expect the conclusion of the Neymar transfer, but I also imagine other clubs making late moves in the market. Real Madrid could try to reinforce their midfield for example.”

BARCELONA, SPAIN – AUGUST 04: Ousmane Dembele of FC Barcelona runs with the ball during the Joan Gamper trophy friendly match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal at Nou Camp on August 04, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)