International football phenom Neymar is rumored to be transferring following the conclusion of his contract in 2014. Though it appears imminent that he will not remain with Santos for the long term, there is no definitive destination for him.
It is an encouraging sign for Barcelona fans that the club’s vice president Josep Maria Bartomeu said he would like to acquire the forward to play following the conclusion of the Olympics, according to goal.com.
Barca, however, is not the only club that is hoping for the 20-year-old Neymar’s services.
Reports by ESPN Soccernet—that Real Madrid agreed in principle to a deal with Santos worth approximately $84 million late last year based on the comments of an anonymous source—have since proven to be either false, else the deal was foiled. That rumor was followed by news that Real Madrid has halted its pursuit of Neymar due to his “arrogant attitude,” according to Goal.com.
Given the recent success of Chelsea FC and its acquisitions of Edin Hazard, Marko Marin and Oscar, Neymar may yet be enticed to join the ranks of the Champions League holders, according to ESPNSTAR.com.
Juventus was reported to be interested in the Santos star as early as March 21, 2012, by Goal.com via Italian newspaper Tuttosport.
Nevertheless, all indications still point to Barca as the frontrunner in the race for Neymar.
According to comments made by former Brazilian international soccer player Marinho Peres to COMRadio in January, Neymar will eventually be a Barcelona player. Peres’ statement should be valued based on his close ties with Santos officials, as stated in the same report.
More recently, the club has made an outright attempt to secure a stake in Neymar’s future, according to reports by Sport360.com reported via Cadena SER that the Spanish club has put a $14 million down payment on his future transfer.
Whatever the case, this move will not happen anytime soon, due to the comments of Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro, who insists the club will not sell Neymar before his contract expires in July 2014, according to Sambafoot.com via Mundo Deportivo.
Widely regarded as one of the three best players in the world, Neymar will be an offensive dynamo for the next decade. His services will impact a club profoundly both economically and competitively.
If Barcelona can acquire Neymar, its stock will rise dramatically. In the meantime, Barca fans can feel comfortable about the prospect of their club earning the forward, as long as they stay patient.