Santos want to keep Neymar beyond 2014

The highly-rated Brazil international is expected to move to Europe after the World Cup, but his current employers remain optimistic of holding on to the teenage forward
Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro has revealed that he hopes to keep Neymar beyond the expiry of the striker's contract with the club in the summer of 2014.

The in-demand teenage forward has committed himself to the Brazilian outfit until the next World Cup, after which he is expected to move to Europe, with Barcelona said to be leading the chase for his services.

However, Ribeiro believes that Neymar could easily turn down the fortune and fame on offer in Europe in order to remain in Sao Paulo.

"Neymar is happy as a bird [here]," the Santos supremo told Globoesporte. "He is the first to turn up for the training camps and he arrives 30 minutes before everyone else.

"He does not play like a footballer - more like a kid in kindergarten just having fun. In Europe it is not like this: the tactics are rigid and technical."

Ribeiro's other prized possession is midfielder Ganso, who has also been heavily linked with a move to Europe.

The Santos president insists he will not stand in the player's way if a suitable offer comes in but he again reiterated his belief that the Brazil international needs to focus on his football for the time being.

"Injuries plagued him last year and, if I were him, I would continue doing what he is doing: returning to play with commitment and enthusiasm," he reasoned. "The offers will certainly come if he continues playing football this way.

"And if he wants to leave, Santos will surrender to the will of the player, while at the same time protecting the best interests of the club."

Santos finished 10th in last year's Brazilian championship but managed to reach the final of the Club World Cup only to come off second best to Barcelona.

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