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Santos have explained they will reject all offers for the player, whom they want to keep for many years, because of his qualities both on and off the pitch

Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro has declared that Neymar is indispensable to the club and will not leave in the summer.

The news comes as a major twist to what looks to be one of the season's longest transfer sagas, after Ribeiro had seemingly revealed on Tuesday he had given permission to five European clubs to discuss terms with the player.

Neymar is one of this summer's most sought-after young stars, with Real Madrid, Chelsea and Barcelona all rumoured to be after the 19-year-old.

Spanish sources had suggested that Real Madrid were just inches away from a deal for Neymar, but Santos have now declared their prized asset 'is non-negotiable because of technical, merchandising and affective reasons'.

"Technically, he is the best active Brazilian player. He was decisive in the conquest of four titles for Santos in the past 18 months, plus the pre-Olympics for the Brazil national squad, at the start of the year. He is the biggest idol in the national team while playing in the country, something which had not happened in many years," a statement issued by Luis Alvaro Ribeiro reads.

"Merchandising, Neymar is a media phenomenon recognized all over the world. His talent to produce brilliant plays on the field is proportional to his charisma, which has been used by several brands as a means to communicate.

"Affectionately, Neymar is loved by Santos FC and by the club's fans, not just because of how he plays, but, most of all, for all he is as a human being. His expressions of affection for the club strengthen this umbilical connection. And this love is shared by several other millions of Brazilians who admire him despite their club preferences."

The Copa Libertadores champions add they will continue respecting all the clubs who contact them to ask about Neymar, but will repudiate all sides who try to go behind their back to sign the player.

Ribeiro ends his statement saying that, as soon as Neymar returns to Brazil from Copa America, Santos will meet with the player to discuss what needs to be done for him to commit his future to the club 'for many years'.

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