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Scolari: Neymar will be a Barcelona idol
May 20, 2013 8:14 AM EST
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari believes Neymar would become an "idol" at Barcelona, if he seals his much-expected move to Catalunya.
Barca are widely reported to have secured a first-option deal on the Santos starlet and the former Chelsea boss revealed he has already been contacted by Camp Nou president Sandro Rosell to discuss the forward's merits.
"He is an example to follow as a sportsman," Scolari told Canal+.
"I have spoken to Sandro Rosell about how he behaves on the training pitch and about his personality. And he really is an example to follow.
"Barcelona are clearly leading the race for his signature. He would be a great signing for Barcelona.
"He would be an idol for the fans next season alongside Lionel Messi."
Scolari's comments add weight to the rumours, after Santos vice-president Odilio Rodrigues admitted Neymar is keen on a move to the Liga champions.
But he confirmed that Barcelona had yet to meet the club's valuation of the player and insisted that Real Madrid had not made a bid.
"Neymar has told us that he wants to sign for Barcelona," he told SER Esports.
"There are other proposals but he has a preference for Barca. There is no official Madrid proposal for Neymar, but we know that this offer will come.
"We held conversations in Spain with the Barca board of directors and there are ongoing talks but nothing has been decided.
"But the negotiations need to continue because the first bid we were offered was not enough. We know that Madrid had a bid and will be presenting it soon, but I haven't talked to (club president) Florentino Perez.
"We know that the athlete's opinion is important. What we have to do is to find a way to unite the best offer with the player's interest."