The Santos forward insisted he is not ready for a ‘big move’ away from his boyhood club but left the door open for the future.
Neymar has been most heavily linked with Spanish giants Barcelona since backing out of negotiations in 2010 with European champions Chelsea. He is now linked with Manchester City, Real Madrid, and Juventus.
“I’m happy here in Brazil,” stated the striker.
“I’m happy at Santos. I have a dream of playing in Europe, but its still not the right moment.”
Neymar has become one of the world’s most sought after talents since making his break into the Santos first team in 2009.
He has since made 98 appearances for his club where he has played and trained his entire career to date. His goal per game ratio is phenomenal – he’s netted 49 goals in all competitions.
The 20-year-old is also hailed as the Brazilian national team’s savior in their preparations for World Cup 2014, which they host. Neymar has featured in 25 games for his country, scoring an impressive 16 goals at senior level.
It’s no wonder the youngster is a transfer target for so many top European clubs, but he has dismissed suggestions he could make a lucrative move abroad this year.
His club has followed suit – issuing a ‘hands off’ warning to potential suitors of their star striker. Neymar has pledged his allegiance to Santos, for now, at least.
“I am under contract with Santos until 2014 and I intend to see it out. So for now I'll watch my friends play on television.”
“Oscar's and Lucas Moura's moment have come and sooner or later I'll go too, but it's a bit too early.”
The young man has seen his compatriots make lucrative moves to Europe’s elite – Oscar has make an impeccable start to his Chelsea career, as big-spenders Paris Saint-Germain await the January transfer of Lucas Moura who has already agreed a deal with the Ligue 1 side who are reported to have paid €45million for the secural of his services from Sao Paulo.
“I do want to play abroad,” he continued,
“I never denied that I have that dream.”
image: © Ronnie Macdonald