‘Neymar told me to join Barcelona because I would be happy’

Despite Neymar’s exit to Paris Saint-Germain, it seems his parting gift to Barcelona was to lure one of their summer transfer targets to the Camp Nou.

After a failed spell at Tottenham, Paulinho signed for Chinese side Guengzhou Evergrande, only to return to Europe in a big-money move to La Liga giants Barcelona.

The midfielder has now admitted that Neymar was a major factor in his decision: “During negotiations, Neymar told me to join the club because I would be happy and I would like it,” Paulinho told ‘Globoesporte’.

Paulinho insisted his fellow countryman was one of the main influences in his switch to Barcelona, despite himself departing the Camp Nou to join Ligue 1 giants PSG.

“He encouraged me and tried to ensure the deal came quickly and despite the fact he was leaving, was persuasive in my decision,” Paulinho added. “We have started the season really well and that helps, I’m aiming to improve every day and our current run of form helps.”

Neymar’s final act of kindness with the former Spurs midfielder getting off to a bright start in Spanish football. Earlier this season, he also revealed Messi had persuaded him to join the Catalans.

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