May 20, 2013, 6:40 PM EDT
This Neymar business is going to get old quick, mostly because there seems to be very little chance of him actually moving this summer. Yet as much as I want to say undoubtedly and uncategorically that the 21-year-old Santos star won’t leave before his contract runs out in 2014, I’ve been around long enough to know: Young star moves to Europe wouldn’t be the most dramatic turnaround in world transfer history. Come next fall we could see him at Barcelona.
That it’s Barcelona – not Real Madrid, Chelsea, or the myriad other clubs Neymar’s been linked to since coming to prominence four years ago – we can be fairly certain. By all indications (this being one), the star has made it clear he only wants to Cataluyna. His father has gone so far as to confirm contact with both Spanish giants, yet he’s been seen meeting with Barcelona, with his national team coach also confirming contact with the Catalans.
That meeting has re-ignited speculation Neymar could move sooner rather than later, but there are still a number of reasons for him to stay in Brazil. His contract, which runs through next summer, is the most obvious reason, but there are also the constant public proclamations he (and his father) has made over the last two years. And because he is so well compensated in a country whose economy (soccer or otherwise) continues to surge, there’s less financial incentive for Neymar to jump the pond.
Santos, on the other hand, may not mind seeing Neymar go. Thanks to national team duty (specifically, the Confederations Cup, among other commitments), their star player is set to miss a huge chunk of time this summer, as the Brazilian league does not stop for international match days. If Neymar decided to leave, Santos could take some of their Barcelona money, invest it in some of the Brazilians returning from Europe, and potentially be better off for it.
All of which sets up a summer that will be either anticlimactic or nauseating, as far as Neymar is concerned. If he stays, it’s nothing but what we should have expected all along. If he goes, the splendor’s already been ruined by four years of trampling the story into the ground. Aside from Neymar changing his mind about Barcelona, there’s nothing new that can happen with this story.
Such is the excruciating world of soccer transfer rumors, particularly when you’re talking about a player like Neymar. By the time we get the reveal, the trick’s already been ruined. All you can think of how much time you wasted watching the show.
Mar 9, 2014, 10:40 PM EDT
It likely means very little, but it’s a narrative we’ll be watching all year… and the first salvo belongs to the Western Conference.
Mar 9, 2014, 10:10 PM EDT
He’s in Barcelona. She’s from Colombia. Their kid is named Milan.
Mar 9, 2014, 9:38 PM EDT
It was a small sample size for the Premier League, but that didn’t stop some stars from shining in Round 29.
Mar 9, 2014, 9:02 PM EDT
With Levante already trailing Real Madrid 2-0, David Navarro took a red card for a harsh foul on the international star.
Mar 9, 2014, 8:23 PM EDT
Aside from the Gunners, there shouldn’t be too many hurt feelings amongst the other giants of Europe.
Mar 9, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT
The Old Lady beats Fiorentina to extend lead atop Serie A, dismiss opponents’ threat to third.
Mar 9, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT
Knee ailment sees Dutch midfielder out of match after 12 minutes.
Quick Six: Chelsea’s second halves, Fulham helps Cardiff, and the rest of the headlines from this weekend’s Premier League action
Mar 9, 2014, 6:56 PM EDT
The Blues are seven points clear, Fulham moves clear to the second tier, and Manchester United illuminate the depths of West Brom.
Mar 9, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT
It was Valladolid’s first win over Barcelona since October 2012, and “boosted” their record in the rivalry to 4W-5D-23L.
Mar 9, 2014, 5:35 PM EDT
That’s a photo from an actual Serie A match between Lazio and Atalanta. Wow.
Mar 9, 2014, 5:07 PM EDT
Wilmer Cabrera gets a win in his debut as boss of Chivas USA.
Mar 9, 2014, 4:44 PM EDT
This Johannsson kid is easily the best Icelandic-Alabaman we’ve seen in a long time.
Mar 9, 2014, 4:01 PM EDT
Meyler capped off a long run with a left-footed finish to score the second of Hull’s three goals in a shutout win over Sunderland on Sunday.
Mar 9, 2014, 3:26 PM EDT
It’s a horrifying story, and one that is sure to have severe repercussions throughout Ghana’s soccer structure.
Mar 9, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT
With Pique picking up his fourth yellow against Real Valladolid, he could sit next league match to ensure his availability against Real Madrid.
Mar 9, 2014, 2:05 PM EDT
At least one of Wigan, Hull City or Sheffield United will make the FA Cup final as the quarterfinals are complete and the semifinal draw is out.
Mar 9, 2014, 1:37 PM EDT
In the midst of a 4-match winless skid in the Bundesliga – 5 if you include the Champions League drubbing by PSG – Bayer Leverkusen now lose a key midfield component.
Mar 9, 2014, 11:54 AM EDT
An offshore Swiss bank account has betrayed the 62-year-old as he faces 10 years in prison.
Mar 9, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT
Jozy Altidore was left out of the Sunderland squad today thanks to a knock he picked up in training, but this season as a whole has been a train wreck.
Mar 9, 2014, 9:26 AM EDT
According to the player’s agent and brother, an English club – and possibly multiple – made a large offer for the defender, but he is happy at Real Madrid.
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