How many times have we heard this story? Every big club in Europe wants to get its hands on Neymar, but Santos aren’t willing to sell their biggest star until after the World Cup in 2014. It doesn’t stop them from trying, with Manchester City being the next in line with an attempt to make something happen out of nothing with the power of money.

How much does this have to do with Roberto Mancini? From what this summer taught us, Mancini doesn’t have that much to say regarding the transfer policy, and its Sporting Director Txiki Begiristain who made the trip, along with other City position holders, to Brazil, hoping he’ll be able to find the right kind of sum that’ll convince Luis Álvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro, Santos’ president, to sell Neymar.

Prices have been thrown in the air in the past – €40 million, €50 million, €70 million. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid have been the closest to signing Neymar, but the player remains quite disciplined when it comes to his loyatly. He never once said he wants to leave Santos for anything bigger. He just keeps on scoring, saying he loves playing for the club and can’t wait for the 2014 World Cup. It seems everything revolves around the summer 18 months from now. After that?

Neymar’s contract runs out in 2014. The current financial situation in Brazil allows clubs to keep their star players without being forced to pay them too much. The huge salaries (some say Neymar makes around €20 million a year from endorsements  come from Sport agencies who also get quite a big cut of the players economic rights (meaning they get paid when he’s sold) and take care of him getting paid. In that situation, Santos have no real urge and desire to sell their best players, knowing they won’t be making that much money off of them. It’s better to let them play out their contract and enjoy their talents for as long as possible, unless the financial situation doesn’t allow it.

What does seem a bit more serious and makes City’s bid a little more hopeful is the talk of getting the blessing of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan to sign Brazil’s number one star. It’s debatable how involved the Prime Minister of the UAE is when it comes to making every football decision in the club he owns, but when he actually asks for a certain player to be brought over, you can expect a lot of zeros in the check books. Not sure that it’ll be enough to help them get Neymar for the 2013-2014 season, a year earlier than planned, but it never hurts to flash just how rich you are.