Santos and Brazil star Neymar has a choice to make. Should he join Chelsea or stick with Santos for at least another year. The stakes are high and so are the sums involved.
Neymar has a release clause in his contract for 35 million Euros. Last week Chelsea were accused â€“ not for the first time â€“ by Santos of â€˜tapping upâ€™ Neymar. The allegation is that Chelsea were negotiating potential salary with Neymar before the two clubs had agreed a transfer fee. Santos threatened to report Chelsea to Fifa and now the expectation is that Chelsea will up their initial 30 million Euro offer meet the buyout clause. Further complicating things is the fact that only 60% of Neymarâ€™s transfer rights are owned by Santos with a further 40% owned by private investors but Santos seem to have the final decision until Chelsea agree the 35 million fee.
A decision from young Neymar is likely to be made tomorrow. Santosâ€™ management team apparently spent eight hours with Neymarâ€™s representatives and parents today, to convince him to stay at Santos for at least another year. Apparently Santos legends Pele and Robinho have also encouraged Neymar to stay. The stakes for Santos are high. Obviously 35 million Euros would be a huge boost to the clubs coffers but losing Neymar could see the dismantling of this successful Santos side. Robinho and AndrÃ© have already left and Welsey is likely to be next (to Werder Bremen) out the door. Losing those three is bad enough (everybody knew Robinho only came on loan and AndrÃ© and Wesley are not that good) but losing Neymar would be a huge blow to the side. And if he left, what would Ganso think about that? What would he do? If those two left, Santos would not be the same team. And of course, they have qualified for next yearâ€™s Copa Libertadores and would love to have their two young stars for that.
Personally I would prefer for Neymar to stay. Brazilian football must start to keep its young stars for a little longer. The economy here is stronger and the sponsors are lining up to help finance a higher salary for the player so that is not a problem. And I admire Santos for not wanting to cash in so soon too. Thatâ€™s the way it should be. Itâ€™s understandable and inevitable that he will go to play in Europe one day but would it hurt him to go there with some more experience, more maturity and more of a history at his hometown club?
Would love to hear your thoughts.