Ribeiro: Neymar will cost Chelsea £41m

Chelsea must pay £41 million if they want Santos to part with wonderkid Neymar, the player’s agent Wagner Ribeiro has claimed.

The phenomenally talented 19-year-old has been courted by Europe’s top clubs for several seasons, and another dazzling campaign which has seen him establish himself as a regular starter for Brazil has seen the young striker’s stock rise even higher.

Chelsea are thought to be leading the chase for the Neymar’s signature, although Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid are all thought to be monitoring the teenager’s progress.

Ribeiro revealed the Blues had a £32 million bid for the Santos youngster rejected last summer, and believes his client’s impressive progress this season has raised his club’s asking price further.

"Last year Santos received an offer of £32 million from Chelsea and it was rejected,” he said in The Sun. “Now he would not leave for less than £41 million.

"Neymar is like Messi. Soon he will be the best in the world because he is a player unlike any other. He is just 19 but all the big clubs are following him."

If an agreement with Chelsea is not reached, Ribeiro refused to rule out the possibility of Neymar making a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid instead.

"What if it means going to sign for Madrid?” he told Spanish newspaper Marca. “In football anything is possible."

By Liam Twomey