Neymar is one of the most coveted players in world football [Reuters].

Manchester City will offer a "blank cheque" to Santos as they attempt to secure the signature of Brazilian striker Neymar.

Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo claims the club's former president Joan Laporta had dinner last week with his old right-hand man, Txiki Begiristain, who left the Camp Nou to become chief executive of City last year.

The dinner, at London's Cipriani restaurant, was also attended by Pini Zahavi, one of Neymar's agents. Zahavi already has close ties with City through his representation of the club's Argentine striker Carlos Tevez.

During the meal, El Mundo Deportivo claims "the big name on the table was the Brazilian superstar Neymar." According to the newspaper, Barcelona already have a "controlling" agreement with the 21-year-old "but he has now become City's prime transfer objective."

To clinch the deal, it is reported that Manchester City are prepared to pay whatever it takes to snatch the player from Barcelona, though if sources in Brazil are to be believed then Santos will be looking to receive an offer in the region of £50million.

The revelations from Spain appear to contradict reports in the English press earlier this week, suggesting that Neymar has already reached an agreement with Barcelona over a summer transfer.

Neymar refuted these reports earlier this week, when he spoke to the media before Brazil's friendly with England at Wembley.

Neymar said: "A lot of things have been written about my future but they cannot be true because no decision has been made.

"I'm happy at Santos now and I'm not even thinking about leaving.

"When the time comes I'll consider all offers from the big European clubs but talk I have already committed is wrong."

The young striker is one of the most coveted players in world football, having already played 28 times for Brazil and scored 17 goals.