Barcelona full-back Dani Alves said today he would sign his Brazil team-mate Neymar from Santos for the Catalan club if only he had the money. Neymar, under contract for another four years at Pele's old team, has long been coveted by Chelsea but seems set on staying put in his homeland for now.
However, Alves has other plans for him, as he revealed at the national side's Copa America training camp at Campana in Argentina. "If I had the money, I'd sign him up for Barca because he's one of the best players in the world right now. And he's a close friend," said Alves.
Real Madrid are also reportedly interested but Alves is clearly not relishing the idea he might one day have to face the young starlet as a rival at club level. "I have a very special relationship with Neymar and he's a person I'd want to advise to be at my side rather than lined up against me," said Alves, 28.
Neymar, just 19, has come to the Copa on the crest of a wave after landing the Copa Libertadores with Santos. Brazil start their Copa campaign tomorrow against rank outsiders Venezuela at La Plata, east of Buenos Aires.