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Joinville goalkeeper Ivan claims Neymar has told him he will leave Brazil

'Neymar told me why he can't stay in Brazil'

Joinville goalkeeper Ivan claims Neymar has told him he will leave Brazil

AFP

The Brazil international is believed to have told an opponent that a prolonged stay in his native country is out of the question as Barcelona step up their pursuit

Joinville goalkeeper Ivan claims Santos star Neymar told him that staying in Brazil is no longer an option for him after Wednesday's Copa do Brasil match.

The attacker initially insisted that he wanted to stay at his current club until after the 2014 World Cup, but he has now seemingly decided on a move to Europe this summer after claiming it is "too complicated" to stay as Barcelona step up their interest.

Santos turned down a second offer from the Catalans earlier this week, but it seems 21-year-old Neymar is confident that both sides will eventually reach an agreement over a transfer.

"I asked him to stay put, but he said that he can't stay in Brazil anymore and that it's too complicated," Ivan told reporters when questioned about his conversation with Neymar after the 0-0 draw in Sao Paulo.

"It will be great for all Brazilians if he moves to Europe. European football is the best in the world and Neymar is the best player in Brazil. In Europe he'll learn a lot, improve, and help us with the national team.

"I asked him to stay. I said 'Stay, man. You light up our pitches, it's a joy to watch you play and to play against you'. But he told me, 'I can't stay anymore. It's too complicated now'."

Neymar's current contract runs until after next year's World Cup, though Santos would appear to be willing to cash in on the attacker should an appropriate sum be offered.

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