While Neymar is constantly saying he’s not going anywhere before the end of the 2014 World Cup, business keeps moving around him, and not the kind he is likely to refuse. The next big rumor about the Brazilian phenom? With Santos unable to sign him on an extension, they’ll be selling him this summer, and Real Madrid are looking to be the ones who reach the prize first, potentially spending €100 million on him.
Again, this is coming from the Spanish press, specifically Marca, which is going to be pro-Madrid anyway. Reports coming from the Barcelona media suggest something completely different, but one or the other is probably closer to the truth, as it seems inevitable Neymar will land with one of the two clubs eventually.
So who do they figure €100 million? Well, it begins with a rumor of Neymar already signing a pre-contract agreement with Barcelona, and in order to break it, Real Madrid will be forced to pay €40 million. Something along the lines of the Alfredo Di Stefano story, just with a lot more money involved.
What else? Well, Neymar isn’t just owned by Santos. There are investors, helping Neymar become one of the highest paid footballers in the world through sponsorship and endorsements. Neymar earns 7.2 million euros a season currently and with sponsorship from the likes of Nike, Red Bull and Panasonic, and Real Madrid need to negotiate certain deals with all of these companies, because of the image rights.
Real Madrid are the ones who hold the larger share of the image rights in a deal with any player, and this issue is a current stumbling block with Cristiano Ronaldo in the negotiations to extend his current contract. Real Madrid are looking to own 70% of Neymar’s image rights, suggesting that by playing for Real Madrid he becomes that much more popular and lucrative for future enterprises.
In the end, it’ll come down to either of the two clubs. Florentino Perez is rumored to have been working on this deal for over two months, but maybe Barcelona have been harder at work, hoping that their offer will be the one that prevails. Both teams are looking to pay somewhere around €50-60 million, while Neymar will earn over €10 million in wages at the club. Now all that’s left to see is who was speaking the truth.