Etihad Stadium side step-up Santos star chase.
Manchester City send fixer to Brazil as they launch bold mission to sign £32m superstar Neymar
Begiristain spent two days in South America to open discussions to buy the 20-year-old striker at the end of the season, which would be a bold shake-up to their strike-force and raise further question marks over the future of Mario Balotelli.
City are aware they will face strong competition from Barcelona should Neymar’s club Santos finally be persuaded to sell.
Chelsea and Real Madrid have also previously thought they had agreements to sign Neymar, who is valued at around £32m (40m euros), only for the deals to stall.
There is pressure on the player to remain in Brazil until after the 2014 World Cup but City have been encouraged that Santos might sell next summer and Begiristain felt that by flying to Sao Paulo he would reinforce their intent.
As with any young talented Brazilian there is a certain inevitability of a move to Europe hanging over Neymar’s head and in many ways, though the Santos man is just 20 years of age, he has resisted the temptation of a move away from his homeland for longer than many have predicted.
However Man City are looking to step-up efforts to sign the talented attacker. Roberto Mancini will hope that sending Manchester City sporting director Txiki Begiristain to open discussions with the youngster will bear fruit. The former Nou Camp supremo was adept at completing such deal for the Catalan side and may well feel he can lure Neymar to the Etihad Stadium.
Neymar has been scoring with alarming regularity in his native Brazil and even though one could argue that the standard of opposition he is up against is not all that impressive when compared to Europe’s ‘big leagues’ his strike record has left many prospective suitors positively salivating.
The intelligent forward has notched up 123 goals in 202 appearances and scored another 17 in 27 national team appearances and as such it would surely take an offer in excess of the £32m quoted by this source, especially if a big spending side like Man City do come calling.
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