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Neymar has deal with Barcelona: Alves


09:56, February 27, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Barcelona defender Daniel Alves says Neymar has already signed a deal to join Barcelona after his contract expires with Santos in July 2014.

The comments come a week after reports that Premier League outfit Manchester City is preparing to pay 55 million British pounds to sign the striker this European summer.

Real Madrid and Chelsea are also keen to secure the 21-year-old but Alves is adamant Neymar has already made up his mind.

"He knows what is happening and the deal that he has, which is to come to the club in the near future," Alves was quoted saying by Brazilian daily Lancenet.

"If I were him I would come as soon as possible because it would allow him to improve the tactical side of his game before the (2014) World Cup. Apart from that he would be coming to a club that would suit the qualities he has as a player."

Last year reports in Spain said Barcelona had already made a 14 million-euro down-payment for the Brazilian starlet, who has also been urged to join the Catalan club by football legend Pele.

"I have already told him what I think. He knows what Barcelona can offer because I have made it my duty to tell him," Alves said. "But at the same time I can't grab him and bring him here. If I could I would have already done it. It's his decision."

When asked if Neymar could reach the level of four-time world player of the year Lionel Messi, Alves was noncommittal.

"I don't know if he can reach the level that Messi has reached but he could reach a similar level," he said. "When you think about what Messi has already achieved, it's complicated. But there are players who have stood out in their generation and Neymar can certainly do that."

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