The 19-year-old has been the subject of a tug-of-war between the Spanish giants for the past year but City boss Roberto Mancini, who considers Neymar the best young player in the world, does not want to lose the chance of signing him while the current uncertainty over the player’s future destination persists.
Neymar’s agent, Wagner Ribeiro, finally admitted in June there had been contact with Real Madrid and Barcelona, claiming both clubs have agreed to pay the €45m rescission clause in his contract. However, any deal will have to be shelved until next year as the striker has declared he wants to be available for his club’s challenge for the FIFA World Club Championship, to be held in Japan in December, and also to celebrate Santos’ centenary in April, 2012.
One of Mancini’s assistants, former Italian international Attilio Lombardo, is understood to have travelled to South America recently to take stock of Neymar’s situation in the light of reports he had already reached an agreement with both Real and Barca. With the Blues able to offer substantially more in wages than almost any club in the world, there could still prove to be another chapter written into the Neymar saga.