Chelsea set to make final £25m Neymar offer
Chelsea plan to step up their pursuit of highly-rated Brazilian striker Neymar by tabling a £25 million take-it or-leave-it offer with Santos in the next 24 hours.
Representatives of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich are currently in Brazil attempting to resolve an escalating row over the 18-year-old who recently made his debut for the Selecao.
Chelsea had a £17 million bid for Neymar rejected last month and are set to follow it up with a £25 million final offer, but that still might not be good enough as Santos are holding out for the £29.6 million buyout clause in his contract.
The Brazilian giants won't budge from their stance despite Neymar - who has publicly expressed doubts about leaving - privately informing his club that he wishes to join Chelsea.
According to Soccernet sources close to the deal, the economic rights of the player are owned by investors, who believe that they need to persuade Neymar to sign a new contract because his value has already soared to beyond his buyout price.
An insider told Soccernet: "There is a big fight still on to convince Santos to part with the player. There is strong pressure on the boy to stay.
"In the next few days we shall know one way or the other whether a deal with Chelsea can be achieved."
Chelsea have been caught up in an amazing tug-of-war for Neymar, with Santos threatening to report them to FIFA for tapping up the striker.
But the source said: "The President of Santos had dinner with agent Pini Zahavi and the people from Chelsea. How can that be tapping up?
"The boy was forced to go onto Brazilian TV to say he wants to stay with Santos, when the truth is that he wants to go to Chelsea."