Neymar: Top 5 Likely Transfer Destinations for Santos Star
One of the most highly sought after players in football, Neymar has a contract with Santos that expires in 2014, but few believe that he will stay in Brazil that long.
Indeed, most of the world's big clubs have been closely observing Neymar's progress for years, and it should not be long before some team shells out tens of millions of euros or pounds for the young star.
Obviously, not every club has the resources to bring in a player of his youth and talent, so here are five places that Neymar is most likely to go in the near future.
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I'm obligated to mention Manchester City here, simply because of the endless resources that the club has at its disposal due to the vast wealth of its Qatari owners.
With an extremely strong corps of attackers, it would not appear as if City are in need of another pair of feet on either wing, but if any club can spend £50 million on an extra man, this is the one.
Due to the mixed reviews that Robinho got during his time in the Premier League with the Citizens, it would be a little risky to take a bet on Neymar succeeding in England, but, again, it's a bet that they can make.
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Juventus have a bit of money to throw around, as evidenced by their attempt to sign Robin van Persie over the summer, and Neymar would fit well in the Italian champions' team.
Unquestionably, he would be the centerpiece of Juve's attack if he were to move to Turin, and he seems to flourish for club and country when play flows through him.
If Neymar wants to make the step up to a big, prestigious European club that can feature him prominently and give him top-level football, Juventus is the choice.
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The possibility of Neymar heading to Barcelona has come up many times in the past because it makes some sense on multiple levels.
Obviously, as one of the richest clubs on earth, Barca could clear the financial hurdle more easily than most clubs.
And, more importantly, he could fit well into the team if he is able to check his ego at the door. Barcelona are a side that relies on unselfish play at the right times from their best players, and if Neymar can mature enough to pick and choose his slaloming runs, he would be a devastating partner to Lionel Messi.
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Of all the clubs on this list, Chelsea have been throwing around money the most, and can go for one last proverbial splash of the cash before things inevitably settle down.
The Blues have been extremely keen on Neymar in the past, so it would make sense that they would be in for him now, especially with Roman Abromavich's latest spending spree.
Can you imagine how insanely packed with quality and flair Chelsea's attack would be with Eden Hazard on one flank, Neymar on the other and Fernando Torres at striker?
As an Arsenal fan, I don't want to see it, but what a combination it would be.
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Real Madrid have always been the most likely destination for Neymar, and now that Cristiano Ronaldo is apparently unsettled, the time might never be better for the Brazilian to make his move.
Los Blancos have approached Santos in the past, but, despite some really prolonged and annoying transfer sagas, they have been unsuccessful.
Even if Ronaldo stays, Madrid have the resources to get a deal done if they commit themselves to getting a deal done and make Neymar their top transfer target.
With his light, technical style, Neymar would be a natural fit in Spain, and a Real Madrid side that really values guile over grit. What an attack they would have with him and Ronaldo on either flank.