Oh Wagner Ribeiro. You've played such a coy game. Just yesterday reports surfaced that you ate lunch with Barcelona's President Sandro Rossell, and you sent us on a wild rampage of speculation by saying that Neymar would be more apt to join a team next year--after you said that the only team that would allow him to join next year would be Barça.
Today? You come out in a major press conference and talk about his dreams:
We're not talking about the economic part of the operation, there's no problem there. We've got to see what's best for the kid, so that he can realize his two dreams: the first is to make history by becoming World Champion with Santos, and the second is to play for Real Madrid.
In fact, Ribeiro continued, "ideally" it would be perfect if the young superstar-in-the-making could play the Club World Cup in December, then come immediately to Real Madrid afterwards--before the transfer window ended. If los blancos would just agree to those conditions, he said, they would be ready to "close the deal [and] and sign the contract today."
Strong words. More after the jump.
Interestingly, Ribeiro's press conference came only hours after a rumor leaked (from Spanish daily and gossip rag Marca) that Chelsea boss (and Mourinho stalker) André Villas-Boas had contacted Madrid stars Pepe and Angel di María. While Marca ruled out the possibility of Pepe signing for Chelsea, they alarmingly report that the operation for di María, the young Argentine winger whose play lit up the Liga BBVA last season, would be more amenable to the directors at Real Madrid.
Money from the sale of di María could be used to buy Neymar's contract from Santos, they say, especially since di María complained recently about his wages, something that Florentino was apparently not too fond of.
You know what? I'm not buying any of that. I can't see Madrid selling di María after one season, especially since he only began to show his full potential last season. Not only was he a major bright spot in Madrid's offense, he is majorly marketable: just last week when I was in Buenos Aires I saw as many billboards featuring his picture as I did Lionel Messi's. And that's saying something.
Since when was finding money a problem for Madrid? It's not like there aren't tons of other players who are less important to the offensive chemistry of the team who could be sold (see: Gago, Fernando, and Diarra, Lassana, or even Garay, Ezekiel).
Let's hear it in the comments people!