FC Barcelona Transfer Speculation: Neymar Is a Must-Get at Whatever the Price

Nathan JudahCorrespondent IJuly 23, 2012

MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - JULY 20:  Neymar of Brazil looks on during the international friendly match between Team GB and Brazil at Riverside Stadium on July 20, 2012 in Middlesbrough, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

He is probably the most talked about transfer target in world football, but at the time of writing this article, Neymar is still a Santos player. Whether he will be in four weeks' time is a completely different story.

If you love him or hate him, you have to accept that Neymar is an extremely talented footballer playing way beyond his years.

At 20 years old, the Brazilian has already scored 110 goals in just 186 appearances while averaging a goal every other game for his country.

Take a minute to digest those numbers—that's an astonishing statistic.

You can argue the merits of the Brazilian Serie A league, but that should not take away from the fact that this boy is one of the most talented strikers of his generation.

Improving his goalscoring record when stepping up into the international arena only confirms what many people already believe: Neymar is the hottest available property in sports today.

"Available" being the most important word in that statement. The transfer of Neymar is inevitable, despite what the Santos president says, but when and where the striker will go is more clouded.

Although a transfer to Catalonia remains the favourite destination, it is still far from a certainty with Real Madrid very much in the running.

SportsPro magazine recently rated Neymar as the most marketable athlete in the world. For those wondering, Lionel Messi was ranked third.

While I don't necessarily agree with the rating, I do think there is the potential for the youngster to create a huge amount of money for the club.

There are various predictions on the transfer price, but the expected ballpark figure is being estimated at £50 million.

It's a huge amount of money for Barcelona to spend, especially with their debt as it is. Bizarrely, it could be the best financial decision they could ever make.

The money they would recoup in shirt sales, new media deals and advertising will make the initial outlay seem like a drop in the ocean.

David Villa has been a great forward for the club, but the game is changing. Barca do not necessarily need a player to lead the line anymore, especially the way they play nowadays.

Expect to see more of the quick, direct, role-interchanging style under Tito Vilanova. A potential strike force of Neymar and Messi would have the whole world drooling.

They would be the most successful duo on and off the pitch. 

The signing would not only reignite the upcoming La Liga and Champions League campaigns, it would also act as a huge vote of confidence to the new Vilanova era. 

Many still worry the former number two to Pep Guardiola will not have what it takes as the main man, but the addition of Neymar would surely set up the perfect chance for a new golden era.