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Brazil’s Olympic star Neymar on Chelsea and Barcelona’s radar

| 02.08.2012

He was hardly an undiscovered gem before the Olympics, but Neymar’s performances in London have given Europe’s elite clubs even more reason to go after the Brazilian.

The 19-year-old has been excellent for the Olympic football 4/7 favourites and was fantastic in their 3-1 victory over Belarus on Sunday.

Chelsea and Real Madrid have long been rumoured to be chasing the player but another name has now entered the race to sign him on the back of his recent performances – Barcelona.

According to the Daily Express, Barcelona vice-president Jose, Maria Bartomeu, said: “Neymar? We would all like to see him joining after the Olympics. If he decides to come to Europe we’ll try to make it Barca”

However, while Bartomeu may be looking to sign the forward, Barca coach Tito Vilanova has made it clear his number one priority is bagging an experienced central defender.

The rumours surrounding Neymar and Barca are largely coming from the Catalan media and there remains a sense that Real Madrid are favourites to get his signature.

Everything points to the mercurial player fitting in better at the Bernabeu than the Nou Camp and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Real break the bank to get their man.

Chelsea shouldn’t be ruled out though.

They are the reigning Champions League winners and appear to have no intention of curtailing their spending habits, with Eden Hazard and Oscar – Neymar’s Brazil teammate – both signing for the Blues this summer.

Oscar and Neymar have performed brilliantly together in London and the thought of linking up with his fellow playmaker could see the Santos player heading for west London.

The Blues are 14/1 outsiders to win the Champions League again this season though and, with Real Madrid and Barcelona in at 7/2 and 11/4 respectively, if it’s Europe’s biggest trophy he’s after, then Spain looks the safest bet.



Richard Anderson