Brazilian starlet Neymar has played down reports he is on the verge of moving to Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Quotes attributed to Ernesto Bronzetti, an agent with close ties to Madrid president Florentino Perez, had suggested the Santos forward was set to snub the overtures of Chelsea in favour of a move to the Bernabeu.
"I was called by an Italian television station [Sport Mediaset] and they asked me [about Neymar]. I told them the only thing I knew was what I had seen on a website, that it was almost done,” Bronzetti was reported to have told SportYou.
Neymar has been courted by the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and Madrid in recent months and it appeared that Los Blancos have won the race to secure the player's signature, but the player himself has denied a deal is in the offing.
Speaking ahead of Santos' Copa Libertadores Final first leg against Uruguayan side Penarol, Neymar said: "There is nothing [with Real Madrid]. Today, nothing will take me out of Santos."
Reports had suggested a deal worth over £35 million was set to be completed in the coming weeks, with the player set to pen a five-year contract, with a reported stipulation in the deal being that the player would re-join Santos on loan for the rest of the Brazilian season.
But Santos president Luis Ribeiro has insisted any interest in his prized asset from other clubs would not be welcome, and explained that the club were seeking help from a sponsor to offer the player a lucrative new contract.
"If an offer came, I would send it back," Ribeiro said. "It is funny that such news always comes the day before decisive matches. They must be joking. When it is not Ganso, it is Neymar.
"We are talking to several sponsors. We will make as many offers as necessary for Neymar to stay."
By Ben McAleercomments