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Santos deny Neymar reports

Santos have scotched reports that European and world champions Barcelona have negotiated the first option on star striker Neymar.

• Barcelona non-committal on Neymar

A report in AS stated a €10 million deal was in place which would give Barca the right to conclude a transfer for Neymar before 2014, with the Spanish giants entitled to a compensation payment of €20 million if the 19-year-old decides to move elsewhere or if Santos choose not to sell the player before that date.

Now the Brazilian club have issued a strong rebuttal on their official website.

The statement read: "Santos FC communicates that reports, claiming Barcelona from Spain would have guaranteed priority in the event of any future sale of the rights of the athlete Neymar, are completely unfounded, untrue and unrealistic, and that a payment will be needed for such a privilege to be obtained.

"As announced on November 9 this year, the athlete Neymar will stay with the club at least until the 2014 World Cup. His contract is wholly-owned by Santos, and includes no rights of first-refusal to other clubs interested in his services.''

Barca spokesman Toni Frexia refused to be drawn on the issue on Wednesday, saying: "What we do is communicate agreements when they are finalised. We also respect that the player is a member of another team, Santos, so we have nothing to say."

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