Santos president refuses idea of Neymar sale to Manchester City

The Brazilian is one of the world's most sought-after talents and Roberto Mancini is reportedly hoping to strike a deal to give his side a much-needed attacking boost
Santos president Luis Álvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro has rejected the idea of selling his prized asset Neymar to Manchester City.

Following reports appearing in Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo on Thursday that City will offer a blank cheque for the Brazilian superstar, Ribeiro has rubbished suggestions he may seek to cash in.

While he admitted it was "not a lack of funds" that would prevent a sale to Manchester City, Ribeiro insists there is no amount of money he would accept from the Premier League champions.

"I anticipate my answer to any bids that might come: the answer is no," he said. "Neymar will stay at Santos until 2014, and I hope that he'll continue here for even longer."

Despite his disappointing performance for Brazil in a 2-1 friendly defeat to England on Wednesday, Neymar is widely considered one of the world's most prestigious talents and has a long list of suitors.

And with Roberto Mancini's men trailing Manchester United in the title race, the Italian is keen to learn from the lessons of last summer - when his side were pipped to the signings of Robin Van Persie, Eden Hazard and Javi Martinez - by making an early move for the 21-year-old.

Ribeiro, however, is adamant Neymar is going nowhere.

He added: "I have a very clear basis for Neymar staying here, resisting offers from the Spanish clubs [Barcelona and Real Madrid, in 2011], for one basic reason: he's happy.

"He costs us a relatively modest amount of money, given his talent. His presence translates into intangible gains, like our fan base growing 20% in the last two years."

Ribeiro even admitted he has taken inspiration from a former Santos president, who dug in to ensure Pele did not leave the club during his pomp.

He added: "It's the repetition of the phenomenon experienced in the the 50s and 60s, when Pele attracted a legion of new fans, that went beyond the limits of the city.

"Repeating history is not very creative, but what Athie [Jorge Coury, former Santos president] did with Pele has inspired me."