Premier League - Paper Round: City fly to Brazil to start Neymar talks

Manchester City might be blessed with more than their fair share of attacking talent but the reigning Premier League champions could be poised to add another £32 million worth of flair at the end of the season.

South American Football - Barcelona confirm Neymar arrival date

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Neymar (Reuters)

Sunday's Telegraph leads with their exclusive revelation that City's director of fooball Txiki Begiristain made a trip to Brazil last week to open talks over the possible recruitment of Santos superstar Neymar.

The 20-year-old is widely recognised to be world football's most exciting young talent and has already scored an impressive 17 goals for his country, as well as amassing a huge tally for Santos.

Though Barcelona have long been favourites to sign Neymar, Begiristain's trip to Brazil suggests City have serious aspirations of convincing the forward to shun Spain and instead move to the Premier League in next summer's biggest transfer.

The Telegraph reports: "There is pressure on the player to remain in Brazil until after the 2014 World Cup but City have been encouraged that Santos might sell next summer and Begiristain felt that by flying to Sao Paulo he would reinforce their intent."

It's a well informed piece but Paper Round has one qualm: surely talk of a £32 million price tag is far, far too low?

Brazil's clubs are in rude health at present and it is likely that Santos could command a much higher price for a player already recognised as one of the best in the world, and described by Pele as superior to Lionel Messi.

At the price quoted in the Telegraph, he wouldn't even meet the Andy Carroll benchmark.

If Neymar does move to the Etihad Stadium then it is likely that Mario Balotelli will be sold to make room for him in the squad. The Mail on Sunday says the Italian striker is a target for AC Milan after an unproductive season so far at City that has seen him criticised by manager Roberto Mancini.

According to the paper: "Interim president Adriano Galliani has been ordered by Milan owner and Balotelli fan, Silvio Berlusconi, to take the former Inter Milan star back to San Siro and he plans to negotiate directly with City’s Abu Dhabi owners and the player’s agent, Mino Raiola.

"That leaves Mancini out in the cold after he has repeatedly stated that he wants the troubled striker to stay in England."

According to the Daily Star Sunday, City are also interested in signing Theo Walcott when his contract expires at the end of the season, but then again every big club in the Premier League has been linked with the forward at this stage.

Of more interest is the news in the Sun on Sunday that Cristiano Ronaldo has told 'friends' - that ubiquitous term in the tabloids - that he wants to return to Manchester United this summer.

Quite how United could finance such a move is unclear given Ronaldo is believed to have a release clause of around £800 million, but the Sun speculates he could be purchased for as 'little' as £122m.

And finally, Demba Ba has rejected the chance of earn £80,000 per week at relegatio-threatened QPR, according to the Mail on Sunday.

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