Neymar – Manchester City Join the Race

It’s been going on for quite some time, but it just won’t stop. Neymar is constantly saying that he’s staying in Brazil and with Santos until the 2014 World Cup, but the rumors keep circling, this time pointing at Roberto Mancini and Manchester City as potential suitors for the Selecao’s best player.

Each time the he pulls off something remarkable for club and country, names and prices are thrown into the air. Usually, it’s regarding Barcelona and Real Madrid, with offers of €40-50 million, but whenever Santos’ president speaks about those offers, he publicly rejects them. Neymar, according to everyone in Brazil, is staying in Santos until the World Cup, and he’s being paid very well by various companies to remain in the country.

His latest impressive feat? A hat trick and an assist in the 4-0 win over Cruzeiro, which brings him to 12 league goals in only 14 matches, and a total of 121 in 199 matches for the club since beginning his professional career in 2009. Still not 21, Neymar already has 16 goals in 25 caps for the national team as well.

Roberto Mancini has a new director of football, former Barcelona player Txiki Begiristain, and Mancini says that he’ll have talk with the new staff member very soon, also about the prospect of signing Neymar.

I have read that Barcelona are buying Neymar but I don’t know if it is true or not. When Txiki starts to work here this week, we can start to talk about the future. For us, that is very important. Neymar is a Santos player at this moment and I don’t know what will happen to him in the future. But I am very happy to work now with the sporting director because he knows the situation. We have talked on the phone and by messages and now we will meet in the next few days.

On paper, it’s not like Mancini really needs a striker. He has Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez. He still couldn’t find the right combination to bring him goals in the 0-0 draw with West Ham this weekend, which left City at 3rd, two points behind Manchester United and a point behind Chelsea. City have also been struggling to score away from home with 7 goals in their 5 matches on the road.

One thing that can be guaranteed: If Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City are in the running for Neymar, be it now or for the option of getting him in two years, don’t be surprised to see Paris Saint-Germain right behind them, waving an even fatter check book.