Amidst a 34-match unbeaten streak, the global FC Barcelona faithful have genuine reason to be joyful.
There is, however, a looming uncertainty that has grown as the season progresses for Barça, and it continues to be prodded without a final resolution. The future of the club’s star attacker Neymar has been very the culprit of this uncertainty, and it has come directly under recent speculation.
Similarly to transfer rumors, contract rumors are fickle in nature and if they sound far-fetched, they most likely are, until proven otherwise. Right now, it sounds outlandish for the side to allow Neymar to leave.
While there’s certainly been cause for worry over a potential Neymar exit — the alleged tax trouble being at the root (he even recently had a helicopter frozen by Brazilian authorities) — it’s rather unreasonable. This is especially true when factoring in the type of production and success the 24-year old has enjoyed during his spell at Camp Nou.
Since arriving in June of 2013 from the Brazilian club Santos FC on a £48,600,000 fee, Neymar has scored 75 goals in 110 matches. Playing alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez (“MSN,” as the trio has been dubbed), in the 2015-16 campaign alone, Neymar has tallied 23 goals (18 in La Liga play) and 13 assists (9, La Liga) in 33 appearances.
For the first time in his career, he was a finalist for the Ballon d’Or, finishing third in voting for the 2015 award behind Messi and Real Madrid’sCristiano Ronaldo.
He’s beginning to round the corner into the peak of his play, and he is already at the mountaintop in terms of club stature. No name in football is more recognized globally or commercially than Barcelona.
Meanwhile, upwards of “TV money” in the English Premier League have spurred murmurs of a possible move to England, but is there a club worthy at this point?
The first candidate would be Manchester United, but considering the uncertainty of manager Louis Van Gaal’s future, a move right now or simultaneous to a new coach’s arrival wouldn’t happen. Other English heavyweights come with their own deal breakers.
Chelsea FC’s direction still unclear from both a managerial and player standpoint right now. Manchester Cityhas shown interest, but Neymar has already rebuffed them. “Neymar will be the star of the game in the future,” Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said amidst City’s interest back in December. “Even if he is already a key figure right now.”Bartomeu made it clear he isn’t planning on allowing Neymar to go any where then, and one could only figure the answer is the same now.
There’s clearly been dialogue between both the team and Neymar to secure his rights for the future.
Neymar isn’t going to leave Barça any time soon, and if he were, it would be more reasonable to assume the cause would be for his financial dilemma before his current club sells his rights.
Kaelen Jones is a sophomore student majoring in sports journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University. He is a contributor at The Stoppage Time, a staff writer at HouseOfSparky.com and is the host and producer of "The Scoop!" on the IMG Radio Network.