Santos and Brazil star Neymar is one of the most sought-after young footballers in the world and there seems to be constant speculation surrounding his future but is there anything to read into his most recent comments in relation to the next stage of his career.
The 21-year-old has long been linked with a move to Europe as he has said that it is his ambition to play there and first became a household name over here when Chelsea were linked with the player in 2009 whilst Carlo Ancelotti was at Stamford Bridge.
He told Esporte Espetacular:
“I dream of playing in Europe, for a big club like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea.
“Who wouldn’t dream about playing alongside [Lionel] Messi, Xavi [Hernandez] and [Andres] Iniesta? They’re all great players.
“I don’t know where I would fit in if I joined Barca, but I know my place is at Santos right now.”
But Santos would like to keep him as long as they possibly can and the player wouldn’t say when he would like to move on and leave Brazil.
“There’s no point in speculating when I’ll leave Santos. I’ll leave when I want to.”
Now there are many that are reading too much into this and that is often the case when it comes to transfer speculation, especially when they are as high profile as Neymar, but he has mentioned Chelsea in the same company as Barcelona and Real Madrid, which says something.
However, it is believed that Barcelona have a first option on the player for which they have paid Santos for already, so anyone that wants to buy the player would have to pay the Catalan club 14 million euro.
There are many that have doubts over whether or not Neymar would be up to the physical challenge of the Premier League as he is rather slight but he’s a supremely talented football and he’s still very young. Another thing that has attracted so many suitors to him is his vast commercial potential which in the times of Financial Fair Play is particularly prevalent.