Santos deny Manchester City deal for Neymar

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Football News

Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro has rejected the idea of selling his prize asset Neymar to Manchester City, reports the Daily Mail.

Despite his disappointing performance for Brazil in a 2-1 friendly defeat to England at Wembley on Wednesday night, the 21-year-old is widely considered one of the world's most prodigious young talents, and has a long list of admirers.

Ribeiro said it was 'not a lack of funds' that would prevent Neymar's sale to the reigning Premier League champions, but that there is no amount of money that could convince Santos to accept an offer for their star player.

"I anticipate my answer to any bids that might come: the answer is no," he said. "Neymar will stay at Santos until 2014, and I hope that he'll continue here for even longer.

"I have a very clear base to why Neymar stayed 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 per cent in the last two years."

Earlier this week, Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo reported that Manchester City will offer a blank cheque to bring Neymar to the Etihad Stadium, with Roberto Mancini keen to strengthen his attack.

However, Ribeiro has rubbished suggestions he may seek to cash in, and revealed he has taken inspiration from a former Santos president, who dug in to ensure Pele did not leave the club during his pomp.

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

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


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