The president of Santos FC has confirmed the club has turned down an offer from Premier League champions Chelsea for wonderkid Neymar.
Reports claimed the Hammers would sign Neymar in order to put him in the shop window for Chelsea to snap him up once he is ready for Premier League football at a higher level.
Now, however, the Blues look to be cutting out the middle man and trying to secure his signing outright.
A statement on Santos’ official website read: “Santos received an official offer from Chelsea FC late on Tuesday morning."
President Alvaro Luis de Oliveira Ribeiro said: "We would like to thank the English club for their interest will reiterate that Santos FC has no interest of selling [Neymar].”
West Ham’s offer was in the region of £12 million, while Chelsea are believed to have topped that, offering around £17 million.
The London sides will have to double their offers if they want to have a chance of luring the Brazilian to England as his release clause is set at a staggering £30 million.
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