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Jul 1, 2011

Neymar 'no longer for sale'

Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro no longer believes Brazilian star Neymar will be sold this summer, insisting he will remain at the club "for many more years".

• Neymar 'chooses Real Madrid'
Five clubs meet Neymar clause
Neymar targeting Santos glory

Neymar has been strongly linked with a big-money move during the current transfer window, amid reports that Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester City and Anzhi Makhachkala have all met his €45 million release clause.

Spanish giants Real had emerged as the favourites to secure the 19-year-old's signature, but Ribeiro has now firmly insisted no sale will take place.

"In the face of continuous speculation over the future of Neymar by the national and international press, I state that Neymar is not negotiable for technical, market and attachment reasons," Ribeiro said in a statement on the club's official website.

"Technically, he is the best active Brazilian player. He was decisive in the conquest of four titles for Santos in the past 18 months, plus the pre-Olympics for the Brazil national squad, at the start of the year."

Ribeiro continued: "He is the biggest idol in the national team while playing in the country, something which has not happened in many years."

"Merchandising - Neymar is a media phenomenon recognised all over the world. His talent to produce brilliant plays on the field is proportional to his charisma, which has been used by several brands as a means to communicate.

"Affectionately, Neymar is loved by Santos and by the club's fans, not just because of how he plays, but, most of all, for all he is as a human being.

"His expressions of affection for the club strengthen this umbilical connection. And this love is shared by several other millions of Brazilians who admire him despite their club preferences."

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