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Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Quintet agree to pay Neymar fee

ESPNsoccernet staff

Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro has confirmed five clubs in Europe have agreed to pay Neymar's €45 million release clause.

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The clubs - named in widespread reports throughout Brazil as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester City and Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala - will now be given permission to speak to Neymar.

"We don't want to sell the player, but of course there is a release clause in his contract that can be paid," he told ESPN Brasil. "Five European clubs have offered to match the clause.

"I cannot name them because there is an agreement between Santos and the clubs, but they are the most important European clubs. They have asked to speak to the player and obviously we've allowed them to."

He added: "The clubs have behaved ethically. They sought out Santos first and were willing to pay the clause. With this ethical approach, they can talk to anyone - with Neymar's father, with [agent] Wagner Ribeiro, and with the representatives of Neymar."

Chelsea had seen a number of bids rejected for Neymar last summer before the 19-year-old Brazil international signed a new long-term deal with the club.

Ribeiro added: "Last year, Chelsea's attitude was different. Their first action was to seek out the player's representatives."

The news comes just a day after Ribeiro said Neymar wanted to become the best player in the world while remaining in Brazil, and he remains confident that the forward will opt to stay at Santos.

"These clubs can come and make their offers, but if he wants to stay at Santos then he'll say no and stay at Santos," he said. "It's not a good time for him to leave.

"The 2014 World Cup is coming and the eyes of the world will be on Brazil. If he stays, and wins the Club World Cup, the Olympics and maybe the World Cup, he will become an idol and can go to Europe having done it all.

"Right now, he lives close to his family and friends in the city he loves and is at a club that is right for him. There's no reason for him to go now. I think he'll stay."

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