Santos president: Neymar will not join Barcelona before 2014
The Blaugrana have publicly expressed their desire to lure the much-coveted Brazil international to Camp Nou after the conclusion of the London Olympics
Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro has dismissed the possibility of Neymar joining Barcelonaafter the Olympics, insisting that the forward will, at the very least, see out the remaining two years of his contract with the club.
The Brazil international is widely expected to move to La Liga after the 2014 World Cup butBlaugrana vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu recently admitted that the Catalans would like to sign the striker before the close of the current transfer window.
However, Ribeiro claims that his Barca counterpart Sandro Rosell knows full well that attempting to do so would be an exercise in futility.
"Neymar is a phenomenon and I'm sure that given his performances at the Olympics, this year he will be ranked among the top three players in the world - and we will not be selling him," the Santos supremo is quoted as saying by Mundo Deportivo.
"Sandro Rosell is a very intelligent man and has enough information available to him to avoid wasting time trying to talk with Neymar [about moving] now.
"Neymar leaving before 2014 is impossible."
Indeed, Ribeiro revealed that he has no qualms about running the risk of the player leaving the Vila Belmiro on a free transfer in two years' time.
"What Neymar will generate for Santos in the next few years offsets the prospect of him leaving for nothing," he argued.
"Besides, Neymar is happy here and we still have not lost hope of him continuing with us. Either way, Neymar will be free to decide his future in 2014."
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