Neymar to join Barcelona in July: Reports

Rio de Janeiro, May 22 (IANS) Brazilian striker Neymar has agreed in principle to join Barcelona, July 1.

The 21-year-old striker is understood to have signed a deal last week to join the Spanish giants following the Confederations Cup in Brazil, reports Xinhua. Neymar’s current club Santos could ratify the deal Wednesday.

As anticipation surrounding the move intensified, Barcelona star Lionel Messi said Neymar would be a “wonderful signing” for the Catalan club.

“I don’t know if in the end he will sign with Barca, only he knows the answer to that,” Messi told TV channel Qatar Alkass.

“He is a player who has very unique individual qualities. It is clear that for Barcelona he would be a wonderful acquisition.”

Neymar’s move to the Camp Nou would end two years of speculation regarding the future of the Brazil international.

A long line of European clubs have been linked to the starlet, including Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus.

Brazil legends Ronaldo and Rivaldo are among a growing chorus of current and former stars to insist Neymar must make a move now if he is to fulfil his potential.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian winger Lucas Moura is the latest to espouse the benefits of European football.

“Neymar will conquer Europe when he comes,” Moura said. “It is a fantastic experience on and off the field, playing different championships against the best in the world and seeing what the cities offer here.”

Neymar is contracted to Santos until the 2014 World Cup but the club risks losing the player for nothing if he is not sold during this summer’s European transfer window.

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