Manchester United have been handed a double blow as priority forward targets Neymar and Thomas Muller, who play for Barcelona and Bayer Munich respectively, have quashed talks of a move to the Premier League this summer. The duo were linked with record breaking transfers as Louis van Gaal is keen to make a marquee signing before the end of the ongoing transfer window.
The Red Devils were reportedly willing to spend a world-record €190m ($218m, £140m) to bring the South American star to Old Trafford this summer, according to Brazilian publication Globoesporte. The Premier League giants were supposedly ready to match his release-clause, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward in talks with Barcelona over a move.
The speculation was quickly denied by the Catalan club's president, who called on the Brazilian captain to retire at the Camp Nou, while insisting that contract talks over an extension will begin soon. Now Neymar himself has quashed all speculation by reiterating his desire to remain with the reigning European champions.
"I know nothing of Manchester, I'm out of this and do not hear. I am happy at Barcelona and Barca people can rest assured," the former Santos star said, as quoted by Marca.
"When I hear things like this, I don't think anything. I just heard it and I am calm. I am very happy at Barca and with my colleagues," he added, as quoted by Goal.com
This will come as a big blow to United and Van Gaal, who is keen to bring in a big-name forward, who can genuinely make his team title contenders, but will have to look elsewhere. In a second blow to the 20-time English champions, Muller, who has been on the club's radar through most of the summer, has denied having any contact with the Dutchman.
According to German publication Sports Bild, the Old Trafford club have made a formal €85m (£60m, $94.6m) bid to bring the 25-year-old forward to England, but the Bavarian giants are unwilling to part with one of their main players, especially after already letting Bastian Schweinsteiger join the Manchester-based club.
"Louis van Gaal hasn't called me, so I don't know about any move," Muller said, as quoted by Goal.com, following Bayern's 3-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen.