Earlier this week it was reported that the Catalan outfit had an initial offer of €18 million turned down as they step up their pursuit of one of the world’s most promising footballing talents after a trying season in which they were humiliated in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
With arch-rivals Real Madrid said to have expressed serious interest in the forward too, Barca’s second bid emphasizes their desire to finalize a deal quickly, but club Santos president, Odilio Rodrigues, insists that the South American side will not be forced to sell for a lower price than they would like.
“Santos analysed [Barca’s] bid that we received and it doesn’t meet our estimation,” he told journalists. “It was not accepted”.
Aside from the Spanish clubs, other teams around Europe are monitoring events closely with a view to signing the Brazilian. Champions League finalists Bayern Munich could tempt him to the Allianz arena when Pep Guardiola takes charge before the start of next season and the odds of that happening are currently 10-1. You can follow all the latest odds for Neymar’s next club at odds comparison websites like www.freebets.com.
Neymar, 23, rose to prominence in his home country of Brazil and has been described by football legend and world cup winner Pele as ‘the best player on the planet’.
In 226 appearances for his current domestic side, the playmaker has scored 136 goals and helped the club win the 2011 Copa Libertadores. He made his full debut as a 17-year in the Brasileirão Série A league in 2009 and has gone on to secure a number of high-profile personal accolades including the title of South American Footballer of the Year twice.
At international level, Neymar has scored 19 goals in 31 appearances for his country and he played a prominent role in last year’s London Olympics when Brazil won a silver medal for coming runners up in the final.
The proposed move has been backed by Barcelona number 10 and World Player of the year, Lionel Messi, who earlier this week said that the striker would make a “wonderful addition” to the Catalan’s squad should he opt to move to the Camp Nou later this summer.
The news will however shed further doubt on the future of Spanish international forward David Villa, 31, who has been repeatedly linked with a move to the Premier League. Villa has scored 47 goals in 114 appearances for Barcelona since moving from Valencia in 2010.