World of Sport

Real want Neymar…if he cuts his hair

World of Sport

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Five clubs from around Europe have agreed to pay the £40 million asking price for Brazil striker Neymar, his club Santos have claimed.

Spanish rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona, big-spending Premier League duo Chelseaand Manchester City and Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala are the quintet reported to have pledged the cash, which would be a world record fee for a teenager.

Real are believed to be favourites to sign the Brazilian but according to Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo, they will only sign him if his shows "greater seriousness" - including a demand for him to cut his Mohawk haircut.

The paper says that one Jose Mourinho's preferred directors at Real will travel to Brazil to urge the people close to Neymar to change his image.

That change supposedly includes tighter control over who he hangs out with so as to avoid bad influences, a warning about avoiding brawls like the one that followed the Copa Libertadores final and a new haircut.

Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro told ESPN Brazil: "We don't want to sell the player, but of course there is a release clause in his contract that can be paid. Five European clubs have offered to match the clause.

"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 and with the representatives of Neymar."

Neymar is one of the most coveted talents in world football since making his debut in the Brazilian League a little more than 18 months ago.

He has scored 27 goals in 63 matches in the Campeonato Brasileiro since netting on his debut against Cruzeiro in December 2009, and has scored three times in five appearances for the national team.

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