Philippe Coutinho has further fuelled talks of a potential return to Spain for Neymar after revealing it would be “awesome” to have his compatriot back at the Camp Nou.

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) shocked the football world last summer when they agreed to meet the Brazilian’s €222 million ($263 million) release clause and make him the most expensive footballer in the world.

Neymar decided to come out of Lionel Messi’s shadow at Barcelona and forge a path towards becoming the best footballer on the planet in the French capital. He flourished with his new club, scoring 29 goals and assisting a further 19 in 30 games in all competitions.

PSG are cruising to the Ligue 1 title with a 14-point cushion between them and second placed AS Monaco, but they were recently knocked off the Champions League by Real Madrid in convincing fashion over two legs.

Philippe Coutinho Coutinho welcomed Neymar's potential return to Barcelona. In this picture, Philippe Coutinho of FC Barcelona reacts during the La Liga match between Malaga and Barcelona at Estadio La Rosaleda, Spain, March 10, 2018. Photo: Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

And recent reports have suggested Neymar is not overly happy at the level of football in France and is keen to return to the La Liga and preferably back to the Camp Nou. Coutinho, who moved to Barcelona from Liverpool during the January transfer window, added to the speculation by claiming it would be great to play with his compatriot at club level.

"I am thinking as Rakitic does, I would like to have here the best players and Neymar is one of them," Coutinho said, as quoted by Four Four Two. "I am playing alongside him with Brazil and it's a privilege. It would be awesome to have him back."

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde, however, was quick to douse the speculation and refused to talk about “hypothetical” situations. The manager was keen to remain focused ahead of his team’s Champions League last 16 second-leg encounter against Chelsea on Wednesday.

"We don't know where it's come from or where it's going to end," Valverde told reporters, as quoted by Spanish publication AS. "Let's not talk about hypothetical situations."

Barcelona were not the only club linked with a move for Neymar, with reports in Spain suggesting Real Madrid are also monitoring the situation with Spanish daily AS claiming the European champions were willing to pay as much as 400 million euros ($492 million) to take him to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Neymar Neymar moved to PSG last summer for a world-record fee. In this picture, PSG's Brazilian forward Neymar Jr looks on during the French Ligue 1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Strasbourg, Feb. 17, 2018. Photo: CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images

Real manager Zinedine Zidane believes there could be a €400m player in 10-years’ time or possibly even earlier. Paul Pogba was the most expensive player following his move from Juventus to Manchester United for a fee of around £89 ($123m) in 2016 until he was eclipsed by Neymar last summer.

Prior to the United midfielder it was Gareth Bale, who joined Real Madrid for a then world-record fee of £85m ($118m) in 2013, while Zidane himself sold for a record price in 2001 when again the Spanish capital club paid Juventus a fee of around €77m ($95m).

"More than 10 years later a player costs 220 million euros ($270 million). In 10 years they might spend 400 million euros. Or even earlier than that," Zidane said.

Neymar is currently injured, having suffered a metatarsal fracture during a Ligue 1 game. The Brazil international underwent surgery in his homeland and currently faces race against time to get fit ahead of the World Cup in Russia this summer.