I'm staying with Santos until Olympics: Neymar

Updated: 20 September 2011 13:53 IST

Brazil striker Neymar has again dismissed reports he has reached a deal with Barcelona or Real Madrid, saying on Monday that he will stay with Santos at least until next year's Olympics in London.

I'm staying with Santos until Olympics: Neymar

Sao Paulo:

Brazil striker Neymar has again dismissed reports he has reached a deal with Barcelona or Real Madrid, saying on Monday that he will stay with Santos at least until next year's Olympics in London.

Neymar said he feels honored to be linked with the Spanish powerhouses but is happy for now to be playing in Brazil, near his family and friends.

"It has already been decided," he said at a news conference. "I won't leave Santos in the next transfer window, I will stay until the Olympics. I have not reached a deal with any club."

Neymar said he was looking forward to play for Santos next year because the club will be celebrating its centenary.

By staying at Santos, Neymar will also be able to play with the team in FIFA's Club World Cup in December, a tournament that also includes Barcelona. Santos qualified by winning the Copa Libertadores earlier this year, when Neymar was a key player.

Santos hadn't won Latin America's biggest club competition since the era of Brazil great Pele in the 1960s.

"Hopefully in next year's (summer) transfer window, we will have these same two great clubs interested in acquiring me again, or maybe other clubs," Neymar said. "Until then, I have a lot of time to think about it."

The 19-year-old striker has been touted as a future Brazil star and is expected to lead the team in the 2014 World Cup on home soil.

There have been daily reports, particularly in Brazil and Spain, speculating about his future. One report by the reputable Estado de S. Paulo newspaper on Monday said Real Madrid has already reached a deal to sign Neymar when he leaves Santos next year, saying the player even underwent a medical examination over the weekend so the contract could be finalized.

"I'm tired of this," Neymar said. "Every day I'm being sold to a different club. Today I'm saying once and for all that I'm not leaving Santos right now."

Neymar rejected a multimillion-euro offer from Chelsea last year and extended his contract with Santos until after the World Cup in Brazil.

Santos said earlier this year that five European clubs - Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester City and Anzhi Makhachkala - had made contact to try to sign the speedy striker and were willing to pay the €45 million ($62 million) buyout clause in his contract.

Neymar became well known after helping Santos win the traditional Sao Paulo state championship and the Brazilian Cup last year. Interest grew after good performances for Brazil and he established himself for good after leading Santos to the Copa Libertadores title.

Neymar became known as the "New Robinho" - the skilful Brazil striker he resembles - and now some fans are even saying that he may eventually come close to the level of Pele, who led Santos to its previous Copa Libertadores titles in 1962 and '63.

Santos has been dominating Brazilian football recently thanks to Neymar and Brazil teammate Paulo Henrique Ganso.

With Neymar, Santos defeated Corinthians 3-1 in the Brazilian league on Sunday. The team is only 11th in the 20-team standings but has two games in hand.

Topics : Football Uruguay Brazil
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