Brazilian starlet and Santos forward, Neymar, will not be sold to Manchester City or anyone, come the end of the season says Santos president Luis Álvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro. The comments come after Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo reported that Manchester City were ready to offer a blank cheque in order to secure the services of the Brazilian international.
According to Goal.com, Ribeiro denied that any deal had been struck between Santos and any other club. He further went on to claim that it wasn't because of money that nothing had been agreed upon saying:
I anticipate my answer to any bids that might come: the answer is no. Neymar will stay at Santos until 2014, and I hope that he'll continue here for even longer.
I have a very clear basis for Neymar staying here, resisting offers from the Spanish clubs [Barcelona and Real Madrid, in 2011], for one basic reason: he's happy.
He costs us a relatively modest amount of money, given his talent. His presence translates into intangible gains, like our fan base growing 20% in the last two years.
All indications suggest that Santos most definitely have the progression of the 21-year-old's career as the priority behind any move. Far too often nowadays clubs are far too eager to cash in on their up-and-coming stars. As such, many careers have been ruined by being released too early or to a club not suited to their ability.
Seeing as though Santos have kept Neymar in Brazil despite much overseas interest over the last few years would conclude that they are indeed intent on him seeing out his contract. Personally, I wouldn't mind waiting a couple of years to see Neymar play in Europe, especially if a delayed arrival would allow him to fully reach his playing potential.
Neymar started for Brazil in their recent international friendly against England. The Selecao went down 2-1 to the hosts and it is fair to say that Neymar never really found his rhythm during the match. Although I'm hesitant to jump to conclusions, I would say that it is such stutters that could justify Ribeiro's desire for him to remain in Brazil a little longer.
Do you think Neymar is ready for Europe? If so, what club do you think would best suit his ability?