Latin America

Neymar rules out January transfer

Neymar Santos v Corinthians
Santos star Neymar says he will move to Europe, but not yet.
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Neymar has ruled out the possibility of moving during the January transfer window by insisting his short-term future remains with Santos.

The 20-year-old has been strongly linked with a transfer to one of Europe's top teams, with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea thought to be the leading contenders for his signature.

Reports emerged last week that Manchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain had traveled to South America to open talks with Neymar's representatives.

However, the Brazil sensation, who already has 27 senior caps for his country and more than 50 club goals to his name, is keen to remain at his boyhood side for now.

He told TV Bandeirantes: "I am happy at Santos, with my family, son, friends, so it's not the moment to leave.

"That moment will come because I have had the dream of playing in Europe since I was a kid, but that moment hasn't come yet. Today, I don't see myself playing for any other team [but Santos]."

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Despite Manchester City apparently having stepped up their pursuit, Neymar is keeping his options open.

He said: "I don't have any preference for a specific club or country."

The end of the current season appears the most likely time Neymar will make his move, but he is adamant it will not be his only priority for the summer.

Brazil are due to defend their Confederations Cup title on home soil in June and their star striker is keen to help his country retain the trophy.

"I would be lying if I said I am not thinking about the Confederations Cup," he said.

"I had two opportunities to play competitions for the national team, one in the Olympics and another in the Copa America, and I feel I am even more prepared now.

"I am very eager and I hope I will do a good job so we can win the title."

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