Bayern Munich are to offer £86m to Brazilian club Santos for in-demand striker Neymar. The 21-year-old Brazilian international has long been linked to Chelsea, Manchester City and Barcelona. The Metro reports on information from Spanish newspaper Sport, which suggests the Bavarians, who will be bossed by ex-Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola next season, will look to make a decisive offer for the youngster.
City have reportedly already spoken to the player's representatives, when they were in England for Brazil's friendly. And it is believed club chiefs Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain spoke with Neymar's father, the player himself and agent Pini Zahavai. The upshot was that the Premier League champions reportedly offered Santos a blank cheque.
However, if reports of Munich's bid are true, then the transfer fee needed to land Neymar will represent a world record bid - potentially eclipsing the £80m paid by Spanish champions Real Madrid to Manchester United for Portuguese international Cristiano Ronaldo.
It should be noted, though, that UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules come into force from 2014. A simpler version is already in effect and has caught out some clubs, including City. And the fact the Etihad club posted a loss of close to £100m last season means an effort to sign Neymar will probably not be looked on too favourably by the game's continental governing body.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is also an admirer of Neymar and the player has confirmed contact from Stamford Bridge. However, given the unstable environment at the west London outfit, Neymar may look elsewhere. Indeed, the same could even be said of City, for whom it is unclear if Roberto Mancini will remain in charge, after a poor season so far.
And with Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu recently stating the Catalans would be ready to move for Neymar when appropriate, the race to sign the Brazilian is still wide-open.
What will be bad news for potential suitors is information the South American forward has opened negotiations on a new contract with Santos. His present deal expires in 2014 so Santos' hurry to extend his agreement is understandable. Should he remain with the club beyond this summer, the South American outfit would be in real danger of losing this prodigious talent for free next year.
As for the player's own views, Neymar has been quoted as saying he will not leave without ensuring Santos benefits from his departure but has hinted his future could be decided before the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, in 2014.
Neymar has 29 goals and 10 assists in 31 league appearances this season. And he has been in outstanding form for Brazil as well, with 12 goals and four assists in 17 appearances.