The Blaugrana hope to steal a march on Manchester City by staging talks with the Brazilian himself in the Catalan capital following this summer’s Confederations CupEXCLUSIVE
By Pilar Suarez
Barcelona are closing in on Santos star Neymar, with the Brazil international scheduled to travel to Catalunya this summer to open talks with the Blaugrana, Goal.com can reveal.
The 21-year-old has so far insisted he intends to stay with his current club until after the 2014 World Cup, but he is leaning more towards a transfer this summer as he aims to prove his worth in Europe.
|5/4||Neymar is 5/4 with BetVictor to join Barcelona as his next club
But as exclusively revealed by Goal.com in February, Manchester City are also hot on the trail of the Brazilian superstar, with director of football Txiki Begiristain travelling to Sao Paolo for initial talks before holding further negotiations at Wembley.
And Goal.com understands that City officials still believe they are in the race for the forward, and are themselves looking to sit down with his representatives in the near future.Neymar will take part in the Confederations Cup with Brazil in June and will fly to Spain shortly after to discuss his future.
"Neymar will play at the Confederations Cup this summer and will then take a one-week holiday. He will travel to Barcelona on July 9," a source close to the player told Goal.com.
The gifted attacker's father already visited the Catalan capital earlier this week to work on a transfer ahead of the 2013-14 campaign, and was accompanied by Andre Cury, who often conducts Barca's business in South America.
Barcelona have a €40-50m transfer budget this summer, which could be further increased by the potential sales of Victor Valdes, David Villa and Alexis Sanchez.