Olympic Soccer 2012: After Oscar and Lucas Transfers, Is Leandro Damiao Next?

Michael DulkaContributor IAugust 9, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: Leandro Damiao of Brazil reacts after scoring during the Men's Football Semi Final match between Korea and Brazil, on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Old Trafford on August 7, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
Stanley Chou/Getty Images

Leandro Damiao is the leading scorer in the men's Olympic football tournament. His teammates, Oscar (Chelsea) and Lucas Moura (Paris Saint-Germain), have been signed to huge transfers. With a breakout Olympic tournament, it would appear that Damiao is the next to put pen to paper on a big transfer. 

The 23-year old Damiao has played his club football for Internacional in Brazil since 2009, joining the senior squad in 2010.

According to The Daily Mail, Damiao has long been linked to a transfer to Tottenham, and that rumor has picked up pace in the last few weeks with Damiao's solid performance in the Olympics. He is also being linked with Manchester City now.

Tottenham may have made a critical mistake by not getting Damiao's signature before the tournament began. With six goals in the four matches he has played, Damiao has surely raised whatever transfer fee might come to Internacional.

Tottenham could use probably use Damiao more as they need to sign another striker with the uncertainty over Emmanuel Adebayor's situation. Man City have plenty more money to throw around if they want to outbid Tottenham.

Damiao has been good during his club career, scoring 24 goals in the 58 games he has played for the senior squad. His good finishing form has continued in London, but will he be worth an expensive transfer fee?

Oscar was sold to Chelsea for £25m and Moura to PSG for around £35m. The transfer fees this summer have been quite out of hand. It would seem that Damiao would now require a high transfer fee as well.

While top clubs are racing to land the Brazilians, Neymar—the hottest prospect—has repeatedly stated his intentions to stay in Brazil. When the enormous offers come in, Neymar and his club Santos may be singing another tune. 

Damiao has been good in the tournament. He's finished opportunities that have come to him. Most of his goals have come from the benefit of playing with the best team in the tournament. His teammates have been incredible at creating chances against inferior competition and Damiao has finished them well.

While he may end up being worth a hefty transfer fee, it's quite a risk to sign Damiao. His price will surely increase based on his tournament success. For just how much remains to be seen, but with teams scrambling to pick up his teammates for large sums, it would seem Damiao will make out nicely. 

Damiao's Brazil side will play for the gold medal against Mexico on August 10. Another solid performance on an even bigger stage might just drive up the transfer fee even more and put more money in Damiao's pockets with higher weekly wages.