PARSIPPANY, New Jersey -- Javier Mascherano has told ESPN FC that he still thinks Neymar can be Barcelona's future amid increasing reports that Paris Saint-Germain will pay the Brazilian's €222 million buyout clause.
Media outlets in Brazil, Spain and France are now all reporting that talks between the forward's representatives and PSG are at an advanced stage, with RAC1 suggesting an agreement is 95 percent complete.
However, Neymar remains with the Barca squad at their base in Parsippany, New Jersey and Mascherano says he has not noticed a change in the 25-year-old.
"No, no [he's not been affected by the reports]," Mascherano said. "Neymar is accustomed to the pressure and people talking. There's always going to be rumours and news around him.
"He is young and I hope he's here with Barcelona for many more years. He is a really important player for the club. Because of his age, he's the future of the club and we hope that we can keep on counting on him."
Asked if he would give Neymar any advice, Mascherano added: "I'm no one to give advice, but I see him really happy here, really happy. [Barca] are a club that have made it possible for him to perform at his best. But after that, each person has to make their own decisions."
Barca will hope a resolution either way is forthcoming as their tour of the United States risks becoming a circus.
The Catalan club arrived in New Jersey on Wednesday and trained for the first time at the New York Red Bulls' training facility on Thursday.
Neymar, the last player off the bus after Messi and Suarez, was the centre of the media's gaze but only said he was "fine" when questioned about his mood and the reports linking him to France.
Sergi Roberto and Jasper Cillessen then attended the press after the session and both were inundated with questions about Neymar.
Cillessen said he was happy to have Neymar on his team but that he couldn't answer for him, while Roberto had to request that reporters changed the subject.
"Neymar is with us and we're really happy that he's here in the United States," Roberto had initially said.
"We are happy to have a player like him in the team. He is such a good player and he's been the same as usual [this week]."
Further questions on Neymar followed, prompting Roberto to request: "Don't ask me anymore about him, I'm not Neymar."
Later, speaking to AP in New York, president Josep Maria Bartomeu said Neymar, who signed a new long-term contract in 2016, is not on the market and claimed it would not be feasible for a club to pay his release clause.
"These clauses are impossible to activate, if you want to comply with the financial fair play," Bartomeu said. "If someone doesn't want to comply, then of course it can be activated."
Barca trained again later in Thursday, albeit behind closed doors, but will be back in the spotlight on Friday when they train at the Red Bull Arena.
Prior to the session, first team coach Ernesto Valverde will give a news conference alongside one member of the his squad.