• Premier League

Santos warn clubs off City target Neymar

ESPN staff
February 8, 2013
Neymar suggested he could move to Bayern Munich next season © PA Photos

Manchester City's hopes of signing Brazilian superstar Neymar have been significantly dented with Santos confirming they are ready to reject all big money offers for the striker in the summer.

Reports in Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo on Thursday suggested City would spare no expense in bringing Neymar to the Etihad next season, but Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira believes the Brazilian will see out his current contract, which expires in 2014.

That means Neymar's hopes of a possible move to Bayern Munich next season have also been rubbished by Oliveira, with Santos hoping to fend off rival bids beyond next year.

"I anticipate my answer to any bids that might come: the answer is no," Oliviera said. "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.

"It's the repetition of the phenomenon experienced in the the 50s and 60s, when Pele attracted a legion of new fans, that went beyond the limits of the city.

"Repeating history is not very creative, but what Athie [Jorge Coury, former Santos president] did with Pele has inspired me."

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