Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho says it will be "impossible" to take Neymar from Barcelona, and that it would be "absurd" for him to ask the Old Trafford club to try.
Neymar has recently put in a string of dazzling, match-winning performances for club and country as he's begun to deliver on the promise that compelled Barcelona to spend upwards of €88 million to bring him in from Santos in 2013.
The Brazil No. 10 signed an improved contract with the Blaugrana in October. The deal will keep Neymar at the club until 2021 and raised his buyout clause to €200m for the first year of the deal, €222m for the second and will then increase to €250m for the remaining three years.
Manchester United have been consistently linked to a move for the Champions League, Copa Libertadores and Club World Cup winner. However Mourinho, speaking with ESPN Brasil on Wednesday, described the reports as conjecture.
"It's speculation. I always try to be objective and pragmatic with clubs and to ask them what they can give me. To ask for Neymar is absurd," the former Real Madrid manager said.
"A club like Barcelona can not and will not lose Neymar. Although Messi is still a young player with years ahead of him, he's almost 30, and Neymar will be the great player of Barcelona post-Messi. So much that I think it [trying to sign Neymar] is like trying to break into a safe, impossible."
Neymar has scored 14 goals and provided 23 assists in 35 matches overall for Barcelona this season.