Barcelona lead Premier League pack in race for Neymar

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Barcelona remain in pole position to land Brazilian sensation Neymar, according to reports.

The Daily Express cite speculation on TV show Punto Pelota when claiming that the 21-year-old’s father has met with Blaugrana representatives to discuss a contract.

Chelsea and Manchester City have both been linked with a move for the Santos starlet, but have now suffered a major setback as Barca close on the player’s signature.

The paper reports that Citizens chief Roberto Mancini had set his sights on Neymar as the ‘perfect replacement’ for Mario Balotelli, who left the Etihad Stadium for AC Milan back in January.

Chelsea, meanwhile, had their sights set on the player as strong competition for Fernando Torres, who has failed to prove his worth following a £50million move to Stamford Bridge.

Owner Roman Abramovich had hoped that the arrival of Rafa Benitez would see the Spanish striker hit top form in west London, but it’s not come to fruition.

And, with Manchester City falling off the pace at the top of the Premier League table, a mega-money signing could be just the trick to challenge great rivals Manchester United once again.

However, it's La Liga leaders Barcelona who appear best placed to bring the player to Europe, as they continue to build on their success at the Nou Camp.

Manchester City
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