Chelsea dealt blow in £25 million superstar race

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Chelsea's transfer plans have been dealt a massive blow.

Chelsea contemplated a £25 million bid for Santos star Neymar over the summer and the deal, which was thought to be close to competition, would have seen the highly-rated Brazil international become the most expensive teenager in world football.

Neymar was reported at the time by The Sun as saying: "To play for Chelsea would be an honour. Everything they have to offer is attractive to me.

"They have big players, they are in big competitions, they have a strong squad and I like the way they play.

However, Neymar snubbed a reported £55,000-a-week deal at Chelsea to sign fresh terms with Santos, citing he was happy playing in the Brazilian league.

His new contract included a £37 million release clause and it is thought that a host of Europe's biggest clubs are ready to stump up that fee for the talented striker, who has been mentioned as his country's next icon - or the next 'Pele'.

But, speaking on Brazilian TV, Neymar dealt a massive blow to Chelsea, insisting he will honour the five year deal he signed with Santos.

He insisted: "I may have head one foot in Brazil and one in Europe in the last year. But now I have both feet in Brazil and will continue until my contract ends in December 2015."

This will come as a massive boost for Brazilian football. For years now, players have left the league as soon as a European club shows an interest. With the World Cup being staged in Rio de Janeiro in 2014, the league could be set for a rebirth - if other top stars like Neymar stay there.

The Brazil superstar has also taken to international football like a duck to water, he made his international debut earlier on in the year against the USA, in which he scored to cap off a fantastic debut.

But he denies the links with Chelsea turned him into a big head. Neymar has been slated in the local media for showboating during games and getting former Santos coach Dorival Junior the sack.

But while acknowledging having his head turned by Chelsea, he insists: "I want to play in all the best championships in the world. From Sao Paulo to the World Cup.

"I'm fine, I'm very happy with everything that's going on in my life.

"I don't think I have changed, no. I'm still the same person, playful.

"Everybody said that Neymar has started making noise. But it was always the playing style of Neymar."

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti saw Neymar as the future of Chelsea football club and the man to take over the mantle when star striker Didier Drogba hangs up his boots. This will come as a disappointment to the Italian who will have to look elsewhere for a striker to bring to Stamford Bridge.

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Didier Drogba
Premier League

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