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Jun 27, 2011

Neymar targeting Santos glory

Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro claims Neymar wants to become the best player in the world without leaving Brazil.

Santos win Copa Libertadores
Kelly: Santos step out of Pele's shadow
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Neymar, 19, has been linked with a number of top clubs around Europe and Chelsea have made a number of bids over the last year, but Real Madrid are now thought to be a more likely destination.

However, Neymar has said on numerous occasions that he would be happy to stay at Santos, and Ribeiro believes he will stay until after the 2014 World Cup and become the first player outside Europe to be named the world's top player by FIFA.

"I imagine there will be many tempting offers, but I'm talking to Neymar a lot and he's focusing on becoming the best player in the world while still playing in Brazil, on becoming a pioneer," he told Terra. "He would change everything that way.

"At the end of his contract, he'll be 23 years old, have played in the World Cup in Brazil and can become one of the great Brazilians."

The future of Ganso appears to be less clear. AC Milan have been strongly linked with a January move for the midfielder after Santos have competed in the Club World Cup, which takes place in Japan in December.

Brazilian newspaper Lance!, meanwhile, had earlier claimed Ganso had accepted an offer from Corinthians and would join this summer.

However, Ribeiro said: "Ganso will be going to Tokyo with us, and he told me he doesn't want to join Corinthians. Like any Brazilian player, he dreams of one day playing in Europe, but he has a contract with a [€50 million] release clause.

"Santos don't want to reduce the value of the clause but also have respect for his rights as a player - this isn't slavery. We can't force him to play if he's unhappy, because he won't play well. We want him to be happy and he is."

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