Neymar plays his first game at the Camp Nou. [Reuters]
Neymar is one of the world\'s most coveted young players [Reuters]. Reuters

The chances of Neymar moving to the Premier League appear to be receding after Barcelona admitted they will attempt to capture the Brazilian when he decides to leave Santos.

Chelsea and Manchester City are both keen on the Brazil striker, but Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu has told the Spanish media that the Catalan giants are also desperate to sign him.

Speaking to Barcelona Television, Bartomeu said Neymar "is a player the technical staff want", adding: "When he says he wants to leave Santos, we will be there to try and sign him".

Neymar's contract at Santos finishes in 2014, although, according to Spanish newspaper AS, "there is the possibility that he could quit the Brazilian club this coming summer."

In fact, sources in Spain claim Barcelona have already reached an agreement in principle for Neymar's signature, and made a down-payment of €10m to ensure they have first refusal when he becomes available.

Earlier this month, IBTimes UK revealed City had offered a blank cheque for Neymar, and the club's new chief executive Txiki Begiristain, formerly of Barcelona, has met the player's agent Pini Zahavi at a London restaurant.

City are desperate to sign a new striker after missing out on their top target, Robin van Persie, last summer.

Roberto Mancini has repeatedly castigated his club's board for failing to sign van Persie, and claimed that the striker's move to Manchester United has been a key factor in the success of Sir Alex Ferguson's team this season.

Also this month, it was reported that Chelsea's Brazilian players Oscar, Ramires and David Luiz have been attempting to persuade Neymar to move to Stamford Bridge after the 2014 World Cup.