Barcelona are confident of signing Neymar as and when the forward decides he wants to leave Santos, according to club vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Neymar, 21, has been one of football’s most highly rated young players for some time, with reports long having suggested Barcelona have agreed a deal to sign the player after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
He has scored 129 goals in 209 appearances for Santos and has 27 caps for Brazil with 17 goals to his name.
Bartomeu told AS: “He is wanted by half the world. When he says he wants to leave Santos, the club (Barca) will be there to try and sign him.”
Barcelona defender Dani Alves, who plays alongside Neymar for Brazil, was quoted in El Mundo Deportivo as saying he hopes the transfer will take place before the 2014 World Cup.
“If I were him I would come now to improve his tactical game in order to arrive at the World Cup in good shape,” Alves said. “He already knows what we have here because he has already got me to pass on all the details. However, I cannot pick him up and bring him here. If not, I would have done. It is his decision.”
Information from the Press Association was used in this report