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Santos: All Neymar Bids Rejected
ESPN Soccernet, February 20th, 2013 12:56PM

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TAGS:  barcelona, brazil, england, france, germany, world cup 2014

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Brazil international Neymar, one of the world’s most sought-after young talents, will undoubtedly leave Santos, his current club, one day, but the questions of when and where remain open. While the 21-year-old has expressed interest in playing for several top European clubs, from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain to most recently, Bayern Munich, both he and his agent, Wagner Ribeiro, have repeatedly denied reports linking him with a move away from Santos before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

On Tuesday, Santos President Luis Alvaro de Oliveira said he would continue to rebuff bids from top European clubs for the club’s prized star. "I anticipate my answer to any bids that might come: the answer is no," Oliviera said. "Neymar will stay at Santos until 2014, and I hope that he'll continue here for even longer. I have a very clear basis for Neymar staying here ... for one basic reason: he's happy.” He continued: "He costs us a relatively modest amount of money, given his talent. His presence translates into intangible gains, like our fan base growing 20 percent in the last two years.”

If and when Neymar does leave Santos, Brazil legend Pele, whom Neymar is often compared to, has said he should move to Barca. But the former Santos and New York Cosmos star also believes the young prodigy still has a lot of growing up to do. “Everybody thinks Neymar can solve the national team's problems, but he isn't ready for that burden,” Pele said. 'We think that he is the best in the world, but he is more concerned about appearing in the media than playing for the team. ... Neymar has a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders. Right now his major concerns are fashion and his haircut.”

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