'I have been trying to lure Neymar to Barcelona for ages' – Dani Alves

The Brazilian attacker has long been linked with a move to Camp Nou, and his compatriot has been attempting to convince him to make the switch

Barcelona right-back Dani Alves has revealed that he has been trying to persuade Santos striker Neymar to join the Spanish club “for ages”.

As exclusively revealed by Goal.com in January, the Blaugrana have told the former Sevilla star to convince him that his future lies in Catalunya, and the 29-year-old has duly obliged.

“I’ve been at it for ages,” Alves told FIFA.com. “When the rumours of him making a move to Europe started I told him he should come to Barcelona.

“They’re more than a club. “The motto says it all: they look after you, they pamper you and they always treat you and your family well.

“Look, they have got values that virtually no other club has, and that’s what makes them unique.

“Everyone says you can’t compete with Barcelona, but if you go to the club, you’ll see that they work from the bottom up and that’s why we’ve got all these great players.

“If you look at the signings they make, they just buy what they need. The rest of the players are all from the youth set-up. They made a commitment to it and the results are there.”

Muller: I want to spend my whole career at Bayern

The 23-year-old has says he is loving life at the Allianz Arena, having secured him self a regular first-team place this season with a string of fine performances

Thomas Muller says he would be happy to spend his entire career with Bayern Munich, having signed a deal which will keep him at the club until 2017.

The Germany international came through the ranks at Allianz Arena, and has been in fine form this season, scoring 15 goals and setting up 10 more in all competitions.

“I’m rooted here and would only have to challenge that stance if I am deteriorating,” he told Kicker.

“I know that I can play in the middle, on the right or up front. I look at these three positions as me being a reinforcement for Bayern. And I want to play there in important games.”

“I see an extremely bright future here. I feel support at Bayern now, and do not feel that I am on probation games the whole time, and will be dropped at the slightest wobble.”

Wenger wants Dein back at Arsenal as crunch contract talks set to commence

The Gunners boss has indicated he wants to open discussions on an extension but is keen for the club’s former director to work with him on signing new players this summer

EXCLUSIVE
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Arsene Wenger wants to bring David Dein back to Arsenal as he prepares to open preliminary contract talks with the club, Goal.com can reveal.

Arsenal still retain complete faith in Wenger and are willing to offer him an extension to his current deal that could extend his reign to the 20-year mark.

The Frenchman has indicated that he is keen to stay at Emirates Stadium but has told the club of his desire to be re-united with close friend and former ally Dein so they can work together on signing new players this summer.

The former Arsenal vice-chairman was ousted from the board in April 2007 for acting unilaterally in trying to attract new investment to the club but he retains a deep affinity for the club, watches home matches from his own box at Emirates Stadium and is still very close to Wenger.

A series of boardroom obstacles would need to be overcome for Dein to return but the 69-year-old has never criticised the club publically since his acrimonious departure and is still held in high esteem by supporters for his role in the 1998-2005 trophy-laden years.

Goal.com understands that Wenger is prepared to push strongly for Dein to take charge of negotiating player transfers this summer as Arsenal prepare to make use of what is expected to be the biggest kitty in the club’s history.

The Arsenal board remain committed to Wenger despite a sizeable portion of fans calling for him to resign after they were dumped out of the FA Cup by Blackburn Rovers at the weekend as his 16-and-a-half year tenure plumbed new depths.

As revealed by Goal.com in December, Wenger had rebuffed an informal approach from the club to arrange a time to open discussions over a new deal, insisting that he would assess his future at the end of the season.

The 63-year-old’s contract expires in June 2014 and there had been a growing sense within the club that he would not sign another deal, and could even leave this summer if Arsenal fail to attain a Champions League place.

However, the Arsenal board, led by majority owner Stan Kroenke and chief executive Ivan Gazidis, do not want to lose Wenger and the club have approached him once again in recent weeks about extending his reign.

In turn, the Frenchman has indicated that he is ready to sit down and hold formal talks with the club about a new deal.

Wenger’s public stance is that he always honours his contracts and that no firm decision has been taken over his future beyond 2014.

Nevertheless, there is a growing possibility that he could put pen to paper on a new contract before the start of next season to end speculation about the direction in which the club are heading.

The boardroom impetus comes at a time when Wenger’s stock among a large section of the Arsenal support is perhaps at the lowest ebb of his long reign.

The club have been knocked out of the two domestic competitions by lower-league opposition this season and lie fifth in the Premier League table, four points behind fourth-placed Tottenham.

However, senior Arsenal officials want Wenger to stay and develop a team around a British core of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain supplemented by proven foreign stars in the mould of last summer’s key signings Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski.

The new financial fair play rules have already squeezed the spending of Manchester City and Chelsea, and Arsenal believe the Frenchman can take advantage of this to build a squad genuinely capable of challenging for trophies.

Although Arsenal’s sole remaining hope of ending a trophy-less run that dates back to 2005 lies in winning the Champions League, the board remain convinced in the abilities of Wenger and put far greater store in his record of top-four finishes and success in navigating the group stages of the Europe’s flagship competition year after year.

The club’s longest-serving manager is also appreciated by the board for maintaining the club’s elite status either side of the move from Highbury while having a transfer budget that was dwarfed by the club’s rivals.

The north Londoners’ high command are also convinced that new commercial deals, such as the recently-announced £150million Emirates contract that comes into effect from 2014, leave Arsenal even better positioned in the medium and long term than they are now.

Bayern have no plans to sign for Lewandowski – Rummenigge

The Bavarians’ CEO has moved to deny reports that his side are close to signing the Borussia Dortmund striker, much to the relief of BVB chief Hans-Joachim Watzke

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has moved to deny reports that his side are close to securing the services of Borussia Dortmund star Robert Lewandowski.

The Polish striker’s current deal at Signal Iduna Park expires in June 2014, and he has been widely linked with a move to the Allianz Arena, or to Manchester United.

“I’m totally relaxed about the Lewandowski rumours,” he told Bild.

“Bayern are not planning to hold negotiations with Borussia Dortmund over the transfer of Lewandowski.”

Upon hearing what the former West Germany international had said, BVB chief Hans-Joachim Watzke admitted that he was relieved.

“It’s great,” he noted. “We also don’t want to hear nothing from Bayern.”

The German champions’ sporting director Michel Zorc admitted on Saturday that he was unsure whether the 24-year-old would elect to sign a new deal.

Mihajlovic: 'Suffering' Jovetic will leave at the end of the season

The former Lazio defender feels the Serbia starlet will move on this summer if he is not made to feel important enough at Stadio Artemio Franchi

Fiorentina attacker Stevan Jovetic is “suffering” and could leave the club at the end of the season, according to Serbia coach Sinisa Mihajlovic.

Jovetic has been linked with the likes of Manchester City and Juventus throughout the current campaign, and the increasing speculation over his future has come as he suffers a dip in form.

Former defender Mihajlovic, who was sacked as la Viola coach last season, believes the 23-year-old may need to change clubs in order to return to the top of his game.

“I consider Jovetic to be one of the best players in Serie A, but right now he is not playing at his level,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I am no longer in Florence, so I cannot say for sure what the problem is. It’s evident he is suffering because of something and if things don’t change I think he’ll leave at the end of the season.

“Jovetic is a sensitive guy and it’s fundamental you know how to deal with him. As with all great champions, he needs to feel important. It means giving him responsibility, but also communicating [to him] that he is one of the best.

“Maybe the problem is that he doesn’t feel as highly considered as he’d like.”

Fiorentina take on Inter at Stadio Artemio Franchi on Sunday, and Mihajlovic is delighted at the prospect of seeing fellow Slavic players Mateo Kovacic, Adem Ljajic and Zdravko Kuzmanovic take to the field.

“I am pleased to see so many Slavic players in two of the best Serie A teams, regardless of whether they are Serb, Croat, Slovenian or Montenegrin,” he continued.

“When I arrived in Italy there were many of us, then we rather lost our way, but I am glad to see we are back in fashion. After all, these countries have always had many football talents.

“I saw Kovacic play against Cluj and was impressed. He has great character, is a battler with good technique and excellent vision. I understand why Inter paid over €10 million for him, even though he is only 18.”