Apparently, Neymar has grown tired of playing in Brazil and seeks a new challenge in Europe. Part of this reason could be is that Santos is looking unlikely that they will not qualify for the 2013 Copa Libertadores, the equivalent of the UEFA Champions League in South America for those who may not know.
The SPORT.es report also mentioned that "Without the Copa Libertadores, Neymar is condemned to playing in a lower league and he believes that staying in Brazil is a waste of time."
Neymar is under contract with Santos until after the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
In the past, Neymar has stated that he'd like to stay with Santos until his contract expires. But with Santos far from the Copa Libertadores, it is possible that he may feel like there's nothing left to accomplish in his home country of Brazil.
That's because there is nothing else for Neymar to accomplish in Brazil.
Nothing against Santos, but Neymar has given that club all he can. He has helped bring Santos a Campeonato Paulista, a Copa do Brasil, a Recopa Sudamericana, and a Copa Libertadores. He's also won essentially every single individual award in Brazil.
With Santos struggling, it's the perfect time for Neymar to leave.
And of course I'd like to see him move to FC Barcelona.
Past reports have mentioned that Sandro Rosell has an agreement with Santos for Neymar; however, Santos has always denied this rumor. Don't be mistaken: Sandro Rosell has made it his number one priority to sign Neymar next summer. Even though Barça needs a true center-back more than Neymar, Rosell will not budge. It's either Neymar or nothing.
I don't believe Rosell has made a deal with Santos. But it is very possible that Neymar's agent has talked to Rosell, and may have a gentleman's agreement about giving Barcelona the first shot at signing Neymar.
While there will be other teams like Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, and Chelsea looking to sign him. Would Neymar succeed in a more counter-attacking system? Yes. Would Neymar succeed in a system like Real Madrid's? Yes as well.
But Neymar will not have as good of facilitators of the football as Barça has in Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Sergio Busquets, Thiago, and Lionel Messi.
Neymar has already been courted by Dani Alves to join El Blaugrana. Former Barcelona star Rivaldo and even AC Milan's Robinho have also stated Neymar should move to the Camp Nou.
If Neymar moves to FC Barcelona, it will not be in the January transfer window. For one, Santos would at least like to keep him for the rest of the season; and two, Barcelona would not have all of the money ready to give to Santos by January.
Besides, if Neymar comes to Barcelona, he needs to join them in the summer so he can have the full experience of training camp, preseason games, and of course, getting accustomed to his new manager, teammates, and the system.
Recently, Neymar stated he'd like to learn English and Spanish. I'm sure he can get help with Spanish from Messi and others. Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, and the Catalan players will teach Neymar a few Catalan words as well.
Part of the reason Neymar stated he wants to learn English and Spanish is because he wants the same kind of marketing exposure Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and other footballers get—especially the multilingual ones. Just look at David Beckham in the past. All he had to say was a few rehearsed words in Spanish, Italian, or any other language and he was money in the bank.
Neymar is marketable right now, but he is a bit restricted because he only speaks Portuguese. If he learns English and/or Spanish, he becomes more marketable to a greater audience.
Three current Barcelona players that will certainly be keeping an eye out if Neymar joins Barcelona at some point are David Villa, Alexis Sanchez, and Isaac Cuenca. El guaje has shown he's close to, if not, one-hundred percent, but at 30 years of age, Villa may be seen as nearing the end of his prime. Alexis has struggled many times in games since joining Barça and may be sent on loan if he does not have a solid 2012-13 season. Cuenca has been out this season, recovering from an injury. With Cristian Tello having much success along with a potential Neymar move to Barcelona, Isaac Cuenca may have to be loaned out as well.
Of course all of this is just speculation. But that's one of the elements that makes the beautiful game so interesting.
Will Neymar join FC Barcelona sooner rather than later? I don't think he'll leave Brazil in the 2012-13 season.
But I do believe he will leave Santos next summer and yes, I do believe he'll join FC Barcelona.
Because he wants to play for the best team in the world who will also give him the best opportunities to give him multiple titles in Europe as well as give him marketing exposure on a global scale. Not to mention who wouldn't want to play with the best player in the world in Lionel Messi, and the with the best midfield in the world?
FC Barcelona gives him the best opportunity to win and win for a long time while giving him the marketing exposure he desires.
It's a win-win for all.
But that's just my opinion.
It may or may not happen, but it will be interesting to watch the Neymar/Barcelona saga unfold even further in the next few months.
Xoel, The Voice of FC Barcelona on Bleacher Report.
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