Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

Santos determined to keep Neymar

Neymar

Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira insists the club will shun any big-money offer from Europe for Brazil international Neymar.

Even though he stated earlier in the week that five clubs had indicated they were willing to match the player's release clause, De Oliveira has now changed tack and claims the 19-year-old will stay regardless and spearhead their challenge in December's Club World Cup.

In a statement, he said: "In light of continuous speculation in the national and international press about the future of our player, I feel obliged to communicate the departure of Neymar is non-negotiable. Neymar is a media phenomenon known throughout the world. His talent for brilliant moves on the field is proportional to his charisma."

Real Madrid have long been the favourites to land Neymar, but Oliveira made a personal promise to the Santos fans that their star man will not be leaving the Copa Libertadores champions.

He said: "The fans love Neymar, not only how he plays, but for his human qualities. That love is shared by millions of other Brazilians who admire him regardless of the club to which he belongs.

"In any case, the response of Santos is that we are not yet considering any offer for his transfer.

"Neymar will return to Santos (after the Copa America) and we will make efforts to retain and keep him happy for many years."

The player's agent Wagner Ribeiro added: "There is very little chance to go to Europe now.

"It would not be good for the boy.

"The player is not a mercenary. It is not so simple that he would take the money and leave. He must be in agreement with all conditions of the transfer."

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