Brazil star Neymar has been linked with a host of big clubs, including Champions League finalists Bayern Munich and Copa del Rey favourites Real Madrid.
However, the 21-year-old’s admiration for Barcelona has turned the Catalans into strong favourites when it comes to luring the Santos striker away from Brazil.
Neymar, who has scored 20 goals in 32 appearances for the senior Brazilian national team since his entry in 2010, is regarded as one of the most desirable young players of this generation.
Having found huge success in his homeland, the Nike-sponsored icon now seems willing to test his abilities within the walls of European football.
Nevertheless, Barcelona defender Jordi Alba is confident that a move for Neymar to Cataluña would not pose a threat to Lionel Messi, as the Argentinian forward would still be master of his team.
"I do not know whether he [Neymar] will come here or not,” Alba told Spanish newspaper AS. “He is a brilliant player and, in Brazil, he is showing he is a class above; but Messi is No. 1 and maybe even the best in [football] history."
Expressing his discontent over Barca’s willingness to make massive changes to their squad this summer following their harsh upsets this season, Alba added: “Personally, the team looks fine to me. Let us hope we win more silverware next year.”
Messi is currently on his way to winning the Pichichi once again, subsequent to his comfortable lead at the top of La Liga’s goalscoring rankings with 46 goals in 32 appearances.
A total of 12 assists also places the four-time Ballon d’Or winner in second place in the league’s assists standings, whereas his overall tally of 313 goals scored in all competitions for Barcelona to date makes him the club’s all-time second top scorer, behind legend Paulino Alcantara.
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