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Lucas Lima: No deal in place for move from Santos to Barcelona

Lucas Lima has denied that an agreement is in place to join Barcelona when his deal with Santos expires at the end of the year.

Sources told ESPN Brasil last week that the Brazil international has agreed a five-year contract worth €4 million per season with the La Liga club, including €5m in bonus payments.

Lima, 26, was also reported to have told Barca forward Neymar at a poker game that a move to Camp Nou in January -- he's contracted to Santos until Dec. 31 -- had been finalised.

However, he's told Globoesporte that while he's had offers from England and China, he's not had one from the Catalan club.

"Even if it was true, I couldn't say so," he said. "What I spoke to Neymar about [Barcelona] was just out of curiosity -- I've had no offer them. I want to make it clear that when I make my decision, Santos will be the first to know. Santos is the priority.

"There was an offer from Crystal Palace, a fortune on the table from China... but I know that playing well for Santos will allow me to continue with the national team, something which is very important for me."

Lima, who is represented by the N&N consultancy company run by Neymar's father, met with Santos to discuss a new contract on Tuesday, with Globoesporte reporting a new three-year deal has been offered.

"Santos' proposal is very good, the president [Modesto Roma Junior] has made a great effort for me to stay," he added. "I'm going to talk to my family and give an answer to the club that gave me my chance.

"This will be my biggest contract. The financial side is important, but it is not the most important thing. I want to continue in the Brazilian national team and to win titles. I'll think about the money, of course, but it's not my first thought."

Even though Lima's contract is running down, he's not free to talk to other clubs until he moves into the final six months of his deal on July 1.

Santos, therefore, were reported to be angry after learning of a potential agreement between the midfielder and Barca, although a FIFA spokesman told ESPN FC that the Brazilian club had not filed a complaint against the Blaugrana for an illegal approach, as had been claimed elsewhere.

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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