I can't say I'm surprised by this most recent chapter in the never ending Neymar saga: Santos president Luís Alvaro de Oliveira announced on MarcaTV that he "never said that Neymar was closer to joining FC Barcelona than Real Madrid. Never."
Except that he did. In declarations to RAC-1, literally minutes earlier, he said: "It's not true that Barcelona has already purchased Neymar, but we have been in contact with Sandro Rosell, and I think right now Neymar is closer to Barcelona than he is to Madrid." (Emphasis mine).
Well, that clears things up. Oh, wait, what does "clearing things up" mean again? Does it mean "complicating a situation that everyone is already really tired of anyways?"
Some actual analysis after the jump.Alright, so here's what I think is going on--and it's actually pretty obvious. Oliveira is trying to bring Real Madrid and Barcelona into a bidding war that neither side wants to be involved in. Both clubs are interested in Neymar, but they both find his asking price a bit high; Oliveira figures that if he leaks some of the details of his conversations with Rossell, then it might spur Real Madrid's boss Florentino Pérez into action. Then he could repeat the cycle until he drives up the kid's price to insanely high levels.
This isn't a complicated strategy, and I hope Florentino and Rossell don't fall for it (though I wouldn't be shocked if either one of them took the bait). I don't think Neymar is closer to signing something with either club; in fact, if anything, these leaks suggest that--if anything--he's more likely to end up on Real Madrid.
But seriously, does anyone care about this anymore?