Chelsea have begun discussions with Santos about their young star Neymar. The forward who was instrumental in Santos’ recent Copa Libertadores win has been of interest to many of Europe’s top clubs for several months and the bidding war has now begun in earnest.
According to the Metro the other clubs interested in Neymar are Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Anzhi Makhachkala from Russia.
Santos President Luis Alvaro de Oliviera Ribeiro told ESPN: “We don’t want to sell the player, but of course there is a release clause in his contract that can be paid. Five European clubs have offered to match the clause”.
Chelsea had an offer in January turned down but now seem prepared to meet Santos’ £40 million fee for Neymar. Ribeiro said: “The clubs have behaved ethically. They sought out Santos first and were willing to pay the clause”.
Manchester City are thought to be prepared to pay a huge salary in order to secure Neymar’s signature but the Brazilian may be wary that his countryman Robinho similarly chose City and a huge pay-check over the Blues only to see his career stall until he left for Real Madrid.