Latin America

Neymar to take time over decision

Neymar is weighing up his future after Santos accepted two transfer bids.
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RISING STAR

Neymar may be young, but he already has many memorable moments.

Neymar will take his time to make a decision about his future after Santos accepted two offers for the Brazil forward.

The Brazilian side confirmed earlier they had accepted two bids for the 21-year-old, widely thought to be from Barcelona and Real Madrid.

But after a meeting between club officials, Neymar and the player's father, no immediate decision was reached.

A statement from the club read: "In a meeting with representatives of the management committee of Santos FC, striker Neymar Jr was made aware of the offers received by the club and he will analyse them in the coming days before making a final decision."

Neymar's contract expires at the end of next season and some reports had suggested an agreement with Barcelona was as good as signed.

But the striker insisted he would not be rushed into making a decision.

"This is an honour, the happiest moment of my life," he was quoted as saying on globoesporte.globo.com. "I will now think carefully about these two proposals.

"I will decide with my family. I'm in no hurry. The decision may come out in five minutes, half an hour or three days."

His father Neymar da Silva Sr, who also acts as his manager, added: "Now we will go home, sit down and talk. We could not make a decision in the heat of the moment. Let's talk and see what Neymar wants."

Neymar, who has already played more than 30 games for his country, has spent his whole career at Santos, who have repeatedly fended off interest from a host of European clubs.

Barca have long been on his tail, while Chelsea's interest has been rebuffed in the past.

All previous indications were that Neymar would join Barca, though he had also suggested previously that he would remain in Brazil until after next year's World Cup in the country.

Santos vice president Odilio Rodrigues said: "We did everything in our power to keep Neymar in Santos."

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The club initially confirmed two bids had been accepted with a statement which read: "Santos FC announces that it has received two offers for the player Neymar da Silva Santos Junior.

"Given the offers and conditions of the player's contract, the management committee of the club have decided to sell the player.

"Neymar Jr and his father are expected at the Vila Belmiro stadium to choose which offer the player will accept."

Any transfer could be complicated by the complex nature of Neymar's ownership arrangement, with various investment groups holding a stake in the player as well as the club.

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