Neymar would welcome Lucas Lima at Barcelona with 'open arms'

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Neymar says Santos midfielder Lucas Lima would be welcomed with "open arms" at Barcelona, but denied personally requesting he be signed.

Brazil international Lucas Lima's deal with Santos expires at the end of the year and it is claimed he will sign a pre-contract agreement with Barcelona in July and join next January.

Santos are still hopeful of getting a transfer fee for the 26-year-old, but, regardless of when he arrives at Camp Nou, Neymar has assured he would be well received in Spain.

"He is a great friend in football and I am hoping that he comes to Barcelona," he is quoted as saying by Globo Esporte at a charity auction for the Neymar Institute.

"I hope everything goes right. We would welcome him with open arms."

Reports in Brazil claimed Barca's interest in Lucas Lima followed a special request from Neymar for him to be signed, something the superstar forward laughed off.

"There are lots of rumours out there. I'm just rooting for it to happen. If it were I who suggested him he would already be signed," Neymar joked in comments reported by Lance.

However, Neymar's father, who works with the company Khoddor Soccer that represents Lucas Lima, denied there was any proposal from Barcelona.

"We'll do our best to help Lucas find the best result for him, but the only proposal we have is from Santos," he said.