Rosell: Plenty of clubs want Neymar
Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has said other clubs are interested in signing Santos attacker Neymar and revealed he is still hopeful that Victor Valdes can be persuaded to stay at the Camp Nou.
Barca were thought to be strong favourites to sign the highly sought-after Neymar - perhaps as soon as this summer - with some reports claiming they had already made a first €10 million down-payment on a transfer.
But last week, reports in Spain said Real Madrid president Florentino Perez had sent a delegation to try and scupper that deal by offering more money to Santos and the player's other backers.
And Rosell told the Onda Cero radio station he knew Neymar was a target for other clubs.
“Many people are interested in this player, many clubs, and we have said that our coaches like him a lot,” he said. “But coaches at other clubs also like him. We will see what happens. At the moment, he is a Santos player.”
Speculation also continues to swirl around Valdes, who could leave in the summer after deciding not to renew his current contract at the Camp Nou, which ends in June 2014.
Rosell said he hoped to sit down with Valdes, sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta and coach Tito Vilanova to try to convince the long-serving goalkeeper to stay for at least one more season.
“We will see what he wants to do, if he still wants a change of scenery,” he said. “We want him to finish his contract here. When we know what he wants, we will tell him what we think.”
The future of defender Eric Abidal, 33, who returned in April after missing large chunks of the last three seasons through illness, is also to be decided, with his contract ending next month.
Abidal may stay at the Camp Nou in some capacity - but not as a first-team player, Rosell suggested.
“I believe that the fans must understand any technical decision, it must be understood,” he explained.
“Although that does not mean that the club makes a human decision, or that we will take it. It is one thing to play, another to continue at the club.”