Neymar is no longer the next big thing. The 20-year-old is Brazilian soccer’s man of the moment, and Manchester City wants to bring his magic to England.
Roberto Mancini has made Neymar his number one transfer target. The City manager plans to discuss signing Neymar when he meets the club’s new director of football Txiki Begiristain this week, according to the Mail.
“Neymar will be on the agenda when Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini holds talks with the club’s new sporting director Txiki Begiristain this week,” the report says.
“Mancini covets the Brazilian ace more than any player in the world and sent his most trusted aide Attilio Lombardo on several scouting trips to South America to watch him.”
Neymar currently plays for Brazilian club Santos where he is under contract until 2014. He honed his talent in the Santos youth system and has become a star for club and country since turning professional in 2009.
Despite drawing serious interest from Europe’s top clubs, Neymar has pledged to stay at Santos until after the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which will be held in Brazil. It is thought that it would take around £50 million ($80 million) to pry him from Santos before then.
Begiristain was director of football at FC Barcelona from 2003-10. He reportedly made a number of attempts at signing Neymar between 2008 and 2010 and built a professional relationship with his counterparts at Santos.
City hopes Begiristain will be able to use that cache to sign the player many think will rival Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the title of “world’s best player.”