Santos forward Neymar should not make his widely anticipated big-money move to Europe until after the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, his coach Muricy Ramalho said on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old Brazilian forward, the hottest property outside Europe, has been consistently linked with a transfer from the South American champions to top clubs on the continent including Barcelona, Chelsea and Real Madrid.
The international signed a two-year extension at Santos last month to take him to 2014, but that has done little to dampen speculation about his next move.
"I feel that he will be able to prepare himself better if he remains in Brazil. The time to go to Europe will be after the World Cup," Ramalho said in Japan, on the eve of the Club World Cup semi-final against Kashiwa Reysol.
Earlier in the day, Nelsinho, the Brazilian coach of the Japanese champions, said Neymar had the potential to be the best player in the world.
Nelsinho, a former Santos player and coach, added his voice to those predicting a stellar future for the much-coveted Brazilian.
"He's a player who has huge huge potential," said Nelsinho, 61, who in his day was a highly regarded defender. "He could be the best in the world."
Nelsinho's Kashiwa take on the South American giants on Wednesday in the annual intercontinental championship. The other semi is between Lionel Messi's Barcelona and the Qataris Al Sadd.
Many are predicting a final showdown between the Argentine Messi and Neymar.
Pele recently said Neymar was better than Messi, earning a stinging rebuke from Diego Maradona.