Xavi reveals 'surprise' at Neymar departure to Paris Saint-Germain

Xavi reveals 'surprise' at Neymar exit
© Offside
Barcelona legend Xavi reveals his surprise following the world-record departure of Brazilian forward Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.

Barcelona legend Xavi has admitted that "nobody could have imagined" that Neymar would leave the Catalan giants.

The summer's most talked-about transfer saga drew to a close last week as Paris Saint-Germain sealed a controversial £200m move for the Brazilian international, leaving Barca great Xavi to suggest that it was a deal that took most people by surprise.

"It was his decision and you have to respect it. It's a personal choice. Players today move to where they're wanted the most. But nobody could have imagined that he'd leave Barca," said Xavi, according to Le Parisien.

"It's bizarre that a player doesn't want to stay at Barca. It's very rare. It's been 17 years since Luis Figo left for Real Madrid. As with Ney, it was his choice at the time.

"I don't know how it happened, if there were meetings, conversations... there are many interpretations of this record transfer."

Barca are now thought to be considering a number of replacements for Neymar, with both Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele potential targets for Ernesto Valverde.

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Rennes' French forward Ousmane Dembele (top) celebrates after scoring during the French L1 football match Rennes against Bordeaux on November 22, 2015 at the route de Lorient stadium in Rennes, western France.
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16Athletic Bilbao381013154149-843
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