Joan Laporta denies Manchester City role

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Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta firmly denies that he is helping Manchester City in their pursuit of Neymar.

Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta has denied suggestions that he is aiding Manchester City in their attempts to sign Santos striker Neymar.

Neymar is regarded as the hottest property in world football, with a number of European clubs in the running for the talented Brazilian.

Laporta did admit that he met City director Txiki Begiristain and Neymar's father in London, but denied that he was present to discuss a transfer.

"I did meet with Begiristain and Neymar's father because I know them both well. I was in London and I know football people. Txiki was also in London and there were about 15 people in total at the dinner and Neymar's father was also there," Laporta told Catalunya Radio.

"My dream is to see Neymar playing for Barcelona like Ronaldinho, Romario, Rivaldo and Ronaldo did in the past. Neymar's father is nervous because every big club in Europe want his son and that is stressful.

"But when I saw him he comes across as a quiet man who is trying to stay calm and do the best for his son. Still, I was quite shocked to read that people thought I was there as agent for another club. I am not an agent I am a lawyer."

Neymar has scored 128 goals in 207 games for Santos.

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell in the stands during his sides match with Viktoria Plzen on 19 October, 2011
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