Neymar's dad says he's done dealing
Frustrated over the lack of progress in potential trade talks between Brazilian club Santos and Spanish club Barcelona, Neymar's agent/father, Neymar da Silva, said he will not negotiate any more for his son's trade.
"I will not allow Neymar to be auctioned. The soap opera is over," Da Silva told Brazilian media giant O Globo Thursday. "Santos' trading committee has to make a decision, yes or no, but the speculation must stop."
On Friday, Barcelona legend Johann Cruyff also weighed in the dynamics of having Lionel Messi and Neymar on the same team, saying: "I would not put two captains on the same ship."
O Globo reported earlier this week that Neymar had already reached a verbal agreement with Barca on a contract which begins after this summer's Confederation Cup, which would mean his last game for Santos would be this weekend against Flamengo.
AS and Mundo Deportivo both reported terms of the complicated deal, saying Neymar's 'rights' are divided between Santos (55 percent) and investors DIS (40 percent) and Teisa (5 percent). Marca add the investors Sonda and the player's own father to that list of 'stakeholders,' and say Barca executive Raul Sanllehi and Santos representative Odilio Rodrigues met this week for further talks on a move.
"We don't know what is happening," Neymar da Silva told O Globo after Santos rejected Wednesday's offer from FC Barcelona -- 23 million euros ($29.7 million) for 55 percent of the player. "There is talk about meetings with Santos, but why don't they resolve anything already? I am not going to allow the club to do an auction now. I won't permit it."
Media reports say the stalling is an attempt by Santos to try and start an auction, with Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City other potential bidders.
Barca reportedly remains confident that the total offer of about 35 million euros ($45.2 million) -- much less than Neymar's 65 million euro ($84.2 million) release clause -- will eventually be accepted by all parties as, with Neymar's heart set on joining Messi at the Camp Nou, he would move for free in 12 months' time when his current deal with the Brazilian club ends.
"It is very simple. From today on I am not going to answer the phone," Neymar da Silva said. "For anyone. I am simply not going to negotiate. They said they would not sell the player, well then, life continues, life goes on. Now we have a year until the player leaves and six months until he can sign a pre-contract with any club. Santos should think about this. But no one has spoken about it to us. Meanwhile, we have no reason to take a stand, we can't do anything and we won't."
ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan contributed to this report.