sport

Neymar denies Barcelona deal

Neymar has denied reports that he has signed a deal to join Spanish giants Barcelona.

The Brazilian forward is one on the hottest properties in world football and has been linked with a move to one of Europe's top clubs.

Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City are rumoured to be interested, but it has been reported that Barcelona have beaten them all to the 20-year-old's signature.

However, Neymar insisted that is not the case and he continues to be happy at Santos.

He told Uruguayan newspaper El Pais: "I do not have an agreement with Barcelona - or anyone else.

"The only thing that I have signed is with Santos and I am happy. This is a great club that I have a contract with until 2014.

"What is most important is to be happy and I am happy with my family, my friends and my club.

"My role now is to help Santos and the Brazil team, and to be the best will come through hard work."

Neymar has been tipped to make as big an impact on European football as fellow South American Lionel Messi, but the Brazilian was quick to play the comparisons down.

He added: "Nobody can equal Lionel Messi at the moment. He deserves the prize for everything that he did last year."