It’s been a long running saga, but now the denouement may be in sight. Santos have announced that they have received two acceptable bids for the player – widely accepted to be from Barcelona and Real Madrid - and it seems highly likely that at the completion of this summer’s Confederations’ Cup, Neymar will leave Brazil to ply his trade in Spain. And it now seems clear that he’ll go to Catalunya.
News from Brazil suggests that an announcement from Santos has stated that the Catalan club has a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ with the player. And this appears to be the way the cookie is crumbling. Although Real Madrid were keen to kick off the reign of their new manager with a marque signing, and young Neymar would fit the bill nicely. That particular boat appears to have sailed however. The Madrid club appear to have missed out on the prodigious potential that is Neymar.
A word of caution is in order, however. As yet, Neymar is untried in European football, and remains to demonstrate that his famed potential is achievable on a big stage. The Confederations’ Cup could be the stage to illustrate the full flowering of his talent, but that is yet to happen. In the London Olympics, his contribution was patchy at best, flattering to deceive in the main. For the most part, he was overshadowed by less illustrious colleagues. There is therefore no guarantee of success for the buying club.
The elite club sphere in Europe is a mighty big bowl to swim in and it would not be the biggest surprise ever, should Neymar prove unequal to the challenge. For the player who has delayed his launch into this arena for a couple of years now, it’s time to deliver. Next season is do or die time.