Santos rule out selling star Brazilian, despite open chequebook from the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City have been told to forget about signing Brazilian superstar Neymar despite telling his club Santos to name their price.
City have been linked with a swoop for the highly sought after 21-year-old forward in the summer as they look to replace Mario Balotelli, who was sold to AC Milan for £19million in the January transfer window.
fanatix tickets – Manchester City vs Chelsea tickets are on sale from £48 for the match on February 24th at the Etihad Stadium.
It was reported that City were ready to wave an open chequebook under the noses in a bid to beat Barcelona Neymar’s signature, but Santos are not willing to sell him before 2014 with the striker keen to stay in Brazil until after the World Cup.
“I would tell the English that I would have a new stamp for their cheque: It would be returned for non-payment, rather than for lack of funds,” Santos chief Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“I’ll say in advance what my response is to any offer that may come, my answer is no. Neymar is going to stay at Santos for sure until 2014 and I hope he stays even longer than that.”
Neymar turned down a move to Barcelona in favour of staying in Brazil to ensure he is in perfect condition for next year’s World Cup final, although it is understood that Barcelona have a pre-contract agreement in place to sign him at the end of next season.
Ribeiro added: “I have a very clear thesis to explain why Neymar stayed at Santos, resisting the offers from the Spanish. The reason is simple, he is happy. And he costs us relatively little considering his talent. The presence of Neymar generates so much for us, like our fan base growing 20% in the last two years.
“It’s a repetition of what happened in the 1950s and 1960s when Pele attracted lots of fans far beyond the city limits, repeating history is not creative but I’m doing what [former Santos president Athie] did regarding Pele.”
Manchester City have been linked with moves for a number of forwards in the summer including Napoli’s Edinson Cavani, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao.
It has been reported that manager Roberto Mancini will have a major clear-out in the summer with striker Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko among the big names potentially heading through the exit door at the Etihad Stadium.