Quintet meet Neymar asking price

Brazilian side Santos have confirmed that five sides have met Neymar’s £40.3 million release clause.

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester City and Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala are all said to have lodged bids for the 19-year-old and have been given permission to talk to the player over a potential move.

Madrid and Chelsea were thought to be battling over the signature of the Brazilian sensation, but have been joined by Barcelona and Manchester City in the hunt for Neymar.

Outsiders Anzhi Makhachkala believe their Brazilian contingent, which includes former World Cup winner Roberto Carlos, and financial backing could help land the Santos player.

Each club is now set to talk to the player's representatives, according to Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro.

"We don't want to sell the player, but of course there is a release clause in his contract that can be paid and five European clubs have offered to match the clause," Ribeiro told ESPN Brasil.

"I cannot name them because there is an agreement between Santos and the clubs, but they are the most important European clubs.

"They have asked to speak to the player and obviously we've allowed them to.

"The clubs have behaved ethically. They sought out Santos first and were willing to pay the clause. With this ethical approach, they can talk to anyone - with Neymar's father, with [agent] Wagner Ribeiro, and with the representatives of Neymar."

Ribeiro also took the opportunity to take a swipe at Chelsea over their previous attempts to sign Neymar and remains confident Santos can hang onto their star player.

"Last year, Chelsea's attitude was different. Their first action was to seek out the player's representatives," he added.

"These clubs can come along and make their offerings, but if he wants to stay at Santos he can say no and continue at Santos."

By Ben McAleer