Manchester City Make First Move for Neymar - Report
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | February 19, 2013 10:38 PM EST
Manchester City made the first move for Neymar, in what is expected to be a long-drawn transfer affair in the summer, according to the Daily Mail.
The English champions made an approach for the 21-year-old earlier this month, during England's friendly against Brazil at the Wembley, where City executives Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain are said to have held talks with the player's representatives and family.
Neymar's camp had attended the match and the City executives were found making their way to their box during the game. The Citizens are expected to make an £55m offer for the forward, as they look to bounce back and compete with Manchester United next season.
The player recently hinted that his future could be decided before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil but City will have to convince Santos, whose president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro warned the suitors that no amount of money will be enough to take Neymar away from the club before his contract expires in 2014. The Brazilian has also been linked with a move to Chelsea and Barcelona.
Neymar has been at his prolific best for Santos this season, with 29 goals and 10 assists to his name from 31 appearances. The 21-year-old was also impressive in Brazil's London 2012 campaign, where he scored three goals and created two, though he was unable to lead his country to a gold medal, after losing to Mexico in the finals.
Mancini Considers Himself to be England's Best
Meanwhile, Roberto Mancini has hit back at reports linking him with a move out of City in the summer and insisted that there are no managers in England who can currently match his record. The rant comes after City's 4-0 win in the fifth round of the FA Cup against Leeds United, to progress to the quarter finals, where they host Barnsley.
"Someone says for six months that Manchester City would change manager, [Pep] Guardiola would come in, and after Guardiola went to Bayern Munich, now another manager. I won one Premier League, one FA Cup, one charity shield, there is not another manager that's won like me in the last 15 months. I can do nothing but it is the reality," the Italian said.
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