Rio de Janeiro: Barcelona confirmed that Santos striker Neymar remains a target for the Spanish club and they want to have him and Lionel Messi playing side-by-side in 2013.

Barcelona promised to return to its endeavours in attracting the star striker, offering a new proposal to Santos by the middle of the year. Neymar's contract with Santos was recently extended till the conclusion of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, as reported.

Related to Messi, Neymar said that he hopes the Argentine continues to score goals at rapid pace so that he can analyze his movements and replicate them.Barcelona optimistically declared that they hope to unite Messi and Neymar in 2013.

Barca though will face stiff competition from arch-rival Real Madrid for the young star. Neymar is currently Brazil's highest paid athlete, receiving an estimated USD 1.5 million per month.