Transfer wrap: La Liga rivals battle for Neymar

La Liga rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid are not content to confine their battles to the pitch, with both clubs said to be vying for Neymar.The forward appears destined to depart Brazilian Serie A club Santos, with the Spanish heavyweights believed to be leading the chase for his signature.

Barcelona are reportedly set to offer 50 million euros to land their man, but will let the Brazil international remain at his current this season in a deal that Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira favours.

Real Madrid are looking to thwart their rivals with a 45 million-euro bid, which would meet the buy-out clause on Neymar’s contract and allow Jose Mourinho’s club to land the 19-year-old immediately.

“The exact situation is as follows: Barcelona want him next year and will pay next year, whereas Real Madrid want him now and are prepared to pay now,” Neymar’s agent Wagner Ribeiro told AS.

“The main problem is that the kid (Neymar) wants to play in the Club World Cup against Barcelona, and Santos are using their force to make him choose Barca. Nevertheless, Neymar would prefer a move to Madrid.”

De Oliveira has claimed stated that five club presidents had made enquiries as to the availability of Neymar, who is with Brazil at the Copa America and is expected to make a decision on his future when the tournament comes to an end.

In the English Premier League, Arsenal have reached an agreement in principle to sign forward Joel Campbell, according to Saprissa president Juan Roja.

The Costa Rica international has caught the eye of several clubs in Europe after impressing for his country at the Copa America.

Roja said a one million-euro deal is close at hand, with personal terms still yet to be agreed between Arsenal and the player.

“There is an agreement in principle already, although everything is now on hold for Joel Campbell and his family to accept (the transfer),” he told ADN Radio.

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has revealed that the club will make moves in the transfer market this summer, but does not feel radical changes to his squad are needed.

“I am still evaluating things at the moment. It is not that I have to change things radically and I will take it step by step,” he said.

“I think it is pretty obvious that we will go into the market at one time or the other but not with radical changes to the team. The team will keep itself (together) and most of the players.”

Villas-Boas has also revealed that Daniel Sturridge – who enjoyed an excellent season on loan at Bolton – may not return to Stamford Bridge, despite him holding the young forward in high regard.

“This is one of the decisions we have to take,” Villas-Boas added.

In Portugal, Benfica’s off-season transfer bonanza has continued with the capture of goalkeeper Eduardo.

The Portugal shot-stopper joins on a one-year loan deal from Serie A club Genoa, bringing to 12 the number of new faces at the Lisbon club.