Chelsea set to pip Manchester City to sign Neymar

March 21st, 2010 - 3:56 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar 21(ANI): Chelsea is set to beat Manchester City for the 30 million pound summer signing of Brazilian winger Neymar da Silva.

Neymar was thought to be on his way to City as part of the deal that saw Robinho loaned back to his first club in January, but Chelsea are ready to exploit a potential breakdown in the agreement.

City secured first option when Robinho joined Santos on a six-month loan deal, but problems in meeting his wages mean if Santos cannot finalize sponsorship deals worth 375,000 pound-a-month, the whole loan deal could collapse, News of the World reports.

To date Neymar has only played one professional season for Santos, but already has reportedly attracted substantial interest from European clubs including Manchester United, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Arsenal and Barcelona, all of whom are believed to have sent scouts to watch the player, dubbed “the new Robinho”.

Madrid is believed to have signed a pre-contract agreement with Neymar’s agent, Wagner Ribeiro, lasting until 2011.

However Santos, who were not party to that arrangement have secured the players image rights until 2015, securing their ownership of the player and right to a sizeable transfer fee. (ANI)

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