Santos dismiss Man City interest in Neymar as glum Brazilian makes low-key exit from London
21:50 GMT, 7 February 2013
01:43 GMT, 8 February 2013
Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro has rejected the idea of selling his prize asset Neymar to Manchester City.
Following reports appearing in Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo on Thursday that City will offer a blank cheque for the Brazilian superstar, Ribeiro has rubbished suggestions he may seek to cash in.
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While he admitted it was 'not a lack of funds' that would prevent a sale to Manchester City, Ribeiro insists there is no amount of money he would accept from the Premier League champions.
'I anticipate my answer to any bids that might come: the answer is no,' he said. 'Neymar will stay at Santos until 2014, and I hope that he'll continue here for even longer.'
Despite his disappointing performance for Brazil in a 2-1 friendly defeat to England on Wednesday, Neymar is widely considered one of the world's most prestigious talents and has a long list of suitors.
And with Roberto Mancini's men trailing Manchester United in the title race, the Italian is keen to learn from the lessons of last summer – when his side were pipped to the signings of Robin Van Persie, Eden Hazard and Javi Martinez – by making an early move for the 21-year-old.
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Ribeiro, however, is adamant Neymar is going nowhere.
He added: 'I have a very clear base to why Neymar stayed here, resisting offers from the Spanish clubs [Barcelona and Real Madrid, in 2011], for one basic reason: he's happy.
'He costs us a relatively modest amount of money, given his talent. His presence translates into intangible gains, like our fan base growing 20 per cent in the last two years.'
Ribeiro even admitted he has taken inspiration from a former Santos president, who dug in to ensure Pele did not leave the club during his pomp.
He added: 'It's the repetition of the phenomenon experienced in the the Fifties and Sixties, when Pel attracted a legion of new fans, that went beyond the limits of the city.
'Repeating history is not very creative, but what Athi [Jorge Coury, former Santos president] did with Pel has inspired me.'
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