Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu has stated the club would welcome Brazilian forward Neymar to the Camp Nou after the 2012 London Olympics.
The 20 year old Santos striker is one of the most sought after talents in football today and has been linked to Barcelona's arch rivals Real Madrid and European champions Chelsea, in the past. The Barca chief explained he would love to add Neymar to his club's star-studded line-up, if possible. At present, the club has Argentinean ace Lionel Messi, Spanish international David Villa, Chilean international Alexis Sanches and youth products like Pedro and Issac Cuenca in the forward line.
"We would all like Neymar to come after the Olympics. He is a Santos player at the moment but I am sure Neymar will come to Europe in the future, and when that moment arrives we will be attentive so he can sign for Barcelona," Goal.com quoted Bartomeu as saying. The matter came up for discussion when Bartomeu met a group of supporters in Morocco on Saturday, hours before the Catalans destroyed local side Raja Casablanca 8-0 in a pre-season friendly.
Meanwhile, things are not quite so rosy for Neymar himself. The youngster has been criticised by his peers for inconsistent from in recent times and even found harsh words from Egypt boss Hany Ramzy, after the Selecao beat the Pharaoh's 3-2 in their opening fixture at the men's football event for the 2012 London Olympics.
Neymar's own national team coach, Mano Menezes, has defended his star youngster, explaining he was struggling to meet the high standards earlier performances established.
"[Neymar's] critics are natural due to the great form he has enjoyed in recent months and even years. Criticism appears when your performance levels drop below the expectations that you created. He must learn to live with [the criticism]. He needs to do everything he can to return to the important player that we need to help us in these Olympics," the Selecao boss pointed out.
Menezes earlier suggested Neymar needed to move to one of Europe's bigger clubs to fully develop his game. The striker is presently in London and preparing to face Belarus in Sunday's Group B game.