RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Brazil star Neymar has paved the way for a potentially early departure from Paris Saint-Germain by declaring he "really wants to" work under Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola.
Speculation that Neymar could leave PSG only a year after signing a record-setting 222 million euro (S$347 million) deal with the French league giants has been rife.
And the 26-year-old superstar, currently in Brazil training with the national team prior to the World Cup, has done little to quash the rumours.
Although linked with a move to European champions Real Madrid, Neymar told ESPN Brasil he wanted to experience working alongside Guardiola having missed the opportunity when he arrived at previous club Barcelona a year after the Spanish coach's departure.
"I've always wanted to work with Guardiola. He's different. I arrived (in Barcelona) a year after he left," said Neymar, who was interviewed for the programme by fellow compatriot and ex-Fenerbahce midfielder Alex.
"I really want to work with him." Guardiola quit Barcelona in 2012 after steering the club to 14 trophies in four seasons.
Neymar arrived a year later and went on to spend four seasons at the Camp Nou, before completing his record-setting move to the French capital.
Although PSG secured a French domestic treble of league, Cup and League Cup last season, Neymar missed the latter third due to injury.
Having suffered a foot injury in February, Neymar underwent surgery in Brazil.
However rumours suggest he is keen to leave Paris, with a preference to return to Barcelona's arch rivals Real Madrid.