Young Brazilian will not be arriving at the Etihad Stadium in the summer.
Manchester City have ended their pursuit of Neymar with manager Roberto Mancini believing the young Brazilian striker is on his way to Spain.
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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 £17million in the January transfer window.
But interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona, the latter of which are expected to secure the signing of Neymar with a pre-agreement understood to be in place, coupled with the striker’s intention to stay in homeland with Santos until after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, means City have ended their chase.
Mancini told the Guardian: “Neymar is a good player but he’s young. I don’t know if he’s ready to play in England because the football is different. I think he will go to Barcelona or Madrid.”
Manchester City will now turn their attention to make summer moves to sign Napoli’s Edinson Cavani and could attempt to prise his Uruguayan international strike partner Luis Suarez away from Liverpool. Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao is another possible signing, while Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema is under consideration.
Mancini, if he remains in charge at the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season, will have a major clear-out in the summer with strikers Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko among the big names potentially heading through the exit door at the Etihad Stadium along with midfielder Samir Nasri.