BUENOS AIRES - Santos have no plans
to sell teenage striker Neymar and want to keep him at the
club for several more years, Santos President Luis Alvaro de
Oliveira Ribeiro said on Thursday.
Neymar, who helped Santos win the South American club title
last week and is on duty with Brazil at the Copa America, had
been the subject of offers from some of Europe's biggest clubs,
he said in a statement on their website.
The gifted 19-year-old has been linked with the likes of
Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Chelsea and is being subjected to a daily
barrage of questions about his future from reporters at Brazil's
Copa America base outside Buenos Aires.
"In the face of continuous speculation over the future of
our crack [player] Neymar by the national and international
press, I state that for Santos FC, Neymar is not negotiable for
technical, market and attachment reasons," he said.
Neymar was currently the top Brazilian player, he added,
while his image was a major market asset, he had an "umbilical
link" to his club and the fans and the admiration of Brazilians
regardless of their affiliations.
Santos would refuse all offers for Neymar as they tried to
keep him at the club "for many more years."
Ribeiro had been previously
quoted as saying that five clubs - believed to be Real, Barca, Chelsea,
Man City and Turkish outfit Anzhi Makhachkala - had met Neymar's £40.3
million release fee.
"We don't want to sell the player, but of course there is a release
clause in his contract that can be paid and five European clubs have
offered to match the clause," Ribeiro told ESPN Brasil.
"I cannot name them because there is an agreement between Santos and the clubs, but they are the most important European clubs.
"They have asked to speak to the player and obviously we've allowed them to.
"The clubs have behaved ethically. They sought out Santos first and
were willing to pay the clause. With this ethical approach, they can
talk to anyone - with Neymar's father, with [agent] Wagner Ribeiro, and
with the representatives of Neymar."
NEWS: Quintet meet Neymar asking price
Bayern overcome heartbreak of losing two finals in three seasons by beating Dortmund 2-1
Decision not to send off Bayern Munich defender Dante rankles with upbeat Dortmund boss
Heynckes becomes only the fourth manager to win the European Cup with two different teams
Dortmund striker could soon join German rivals and newly-crowned Champions League winners
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010