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Vilanova coy on Neymar negotiations

Vilanova coy on Neymar negotiations

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The Barcelona boss admits he is unsure how talks to sign the Brazil starlet are progressing before adding he is unconcerned by reaching 100 points in La Liga

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has revealed he is uncertain whether a deal to sign Neymar from Santos is close to being agreed.

The Liga champions have long been linked with a move for the Brazil starlet, with his club admitting this week that Camp Nou was his preferred destination should he move this summer.

Vilanova claims he is in the dark over how talks to sign the 21-year-old are progressing but admitted he would be a welcome addition to the squad.

"I don't know how the negotiations are going," he told a press conference on Friday. "They don't have to inform me. I have known Neymar for two or three years. He's a good player and everyone would like to add him to their squad."

Barcelona takes on Valladolid on Sunday knowing that a win would take it to two wins from a stunning 100-point haul in La Liga this season, but the boss insists he is only concerned about his side performing well over their final three matches.

"Our priority is winning the league," he continued. "We have the chance to reach the record total and we're Barcelona, but what's important is putting on a good performance. That's more important than the 100 points.

"We were top of the league from the first week to the last. We've scored more goals than any other team in Europe. Talk that we're on the wane isn't true, although perhaps we haven't won as many trophies. There's always room for improvement but we can't always excel ourselves."

Barca's title celebrations took an ignominious turn during an open-top bus parade through the city this week, after Alex Song and Gerard Pique had to be separated by Carles Puyol and Victor Valdes after seemingly coming close to blows, but Vilanova shrugged it off as a minor disagreement.

"There are many people who have their opinion," he said. "There'll always be someone who doesn't agree. The team behaved well. You can always do things better, but you have to see it in the context of celebration. If you're talking about Pique or Puyol, they're always joking about in the dressing room."

Vilanova then paid tribute to Atletico Madrid after its 2-1 Copa del Rey final win over Real Madrid on Friday evening.

"It was very even, like they always are," he said of the derby. "It seemed like it wouldn't be, but these finals are always good games. I congratulate Atletico Madrid on the excellent season that they've had. Now we know who we'll be facing in the Supercopa."

Finally, the 44-year-old praised the recent performances of Alexis Sanchez and Pedro, insisting he is more than happy with their current form despite the latter's barren spell in front of goal.

"His [Alexis'] performances have been good. Scoring goals has settled him down," he stated.

"[Pedro] brings as much to the team as ever. Maybe he has scored fewer goals but he has my confidence. I have no doubts about what he brings to the team."

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