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Neymar off to Europe after Confed Cup?

Neymar’s transfer to somewhere in Europe appears imminent. According to reports in Spain and Brazil, the 21-year-old has already reached a deal to join Barcelona after he plays for Brazil in the FIFA Confederations Cup next month. Directors at Santos, his current club, have also told the AP they are actively talking to officials at top European clubs about his transfer.

"There were rumors before and nothing happened,'' Santos coach Muricy Ramalho tells the AP. "But this time they really seem more serious. The rumors have picked up steam. When the market opens [on July 1st], we know there is this possibility. It will be a huge loss, the club will miss him."

Santos wants to sell Neymar this summer because in six months he would be allowed to sign a pre-contract to join another club next summer, in which case the Brazilian giant would receive nothing for its star player. Knowing that, clubs in Europe are throwing out lowball offers for the coveted striker: according to the report, Santos last week rejected a $26 million offer from Barcelona. The other European clubs said to be monitoring the situation are Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Meanwhile, not everyone thinks now is the right time for Neymar to head to Europe. "He should have gone a few years ago, now it's too close to the World Cup, it's going to take time for him to adapt,'' Brazil assistant coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said. "I'm not sure he is going to play right away,'' added Ramalho. "If he is going to Real Madrid, Robinho didn't play there, Kaka is not playing."

Read the whole story at Associated Press »

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