Premier League - Paper Round: City make moves to sign Neymar

He may have flopped at Wembley last month but Brazil forward Neymar is still in demand - and Manchester City are ready to move for the Santos ace.

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Premier League - Paper Round: City make moves to sign Neymar
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Brazil's Neymar celebrates after scoring a goal against Argentina in a friendly (Reuters)

According to the Daily Mail: "City’s top two executives Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain are said to have held initial talks with Neymar’s family and his representatives in a box at Wembley on the night of England’s friendly against Brazil on February 6.

"The pair went to the trouble of visiting the IMG hospitality box - located on the other side of the stadium - in order to make contact with the Neymar camp and were spotted during their half-circuit of the corporate areas.

"Sports management giants IMG are understood to have been entertaining Neymar’s father Neymar da Silva and the £55 million-rated player’s marketing team from IMX Talent. The company is a joint venture with IMG to exploit sports business opportunities in Brazil."

The 21-year-old has long been expected to stay at Santos until after the 2014 World Cup when the club believe he will reach maximum value.

Despite his youthful years Neymar has already won 28 caps for the Brazil national team and has scored 17 goals.

He has long been linked with Barcelona and the Mail note in their report that "the Spanish giants are (still) seen as one of the favourites for his signature.

"But Abu Dhabi-owned City can afford to offer Neymar a similar package or better and have put down the first marker.

"It also might be relevant that compatriots Soriano and Begiristain used to work together at Barcelona - reported to be the preferred choice of Neymar senior for his son - and could persuade the family to make the move to Manchester instead."

To other rumours and Tottenham are planning to make a summer move for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, according to the Daily Mirror. They say that "Spurs have the finance to land the rising star".

The 22-year-old Belgian has scored 15 goals for a struggling Villa side this season.

Barcelona right-back Dani Alves has told the club that they should try and sign Jack Wilshere from Arsenal.

"He is a great player who we have met playing against Arsenal and without doubt he can reach the height of the players we have here at Barcelona like Xavi and Iniesta," Alves is quoted as saying in Daily Telegraph.

"He has a lot of quality and a great personality. If I was given the chance to choose, he is a player that I would sign for Barcelona."

Athletic Bilbao star Fernando Amorebieta is a summer target for Arsenal, his agent is quoted as saying in the Mirror.

The 27-year-old defender has been linked with Russian big-spenders Anzhi and the Mirror picks up on an interview his agent Gines Carvajal gave to a Russian newspaper.

"We have had some contacts with Anzhi, they were ready to make a good offer, but my client wants to play in England, so the transfer to Russia was not possible," Carvajal said.

"We are in talks with Arsenal, he could join them in June."

Roma are prepared to take advantage of Roberto Mancini’s uncertain future at Manchester City by offering a £4.5 million-a-year contract to bring the Italian back to Serie A this summer. (Daily Telegraph)

Paulo Di Canio's decision to quit as manager of Swindon could pave the way for a potential return to West Ham. Di Canio is among the candidates to succeed Sam Allardyce if his contract is not renewed by the Hammers this summer. (Daily Mirror)

Finally, Steve McClaren is fighting for his job as FC Twente manager - with the club’s fans demanding the England flop should be axed. (Daily Mirror).

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