Lionel Messi (R) of Spain's Barcelona is tackled by Neymar of Brazil's Santos during their Club World Cup final soccer match in Yokohama, south of Tokyo December 18, 2011. (Photo : REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER))
Despite Neymar claiming that he would like to remain with his current club Santos until after the World Cup, it seems that the 21-year old is in fact headed to Barcelona.
Barcelona has long been linked as Neymar's eventual destination, but the youngster's constant comments of commitment to his club and hints at interest in going to other clubs had kept the options open. Despite nothing be confirmed yet, a number of reports claim that major people in Neymar's life have already confirmed the move to Barcelona. According to Sambafoot.com, "the father of Brazilian superstar Neymar has told Santos that his son has chosen to continue his career with Spanish giants FC Barcelona." Tribal Football supports this claim and even adds that Neymar "would only accept a move to Barca."
In addition to Neymar's father, Barcelona defender Dani Alves seems convinced that the Brazilian phenom will also come to the Camp Nou in the near future.
"He knows what is happening and the deal that he has which is to come to the club in the near future," said Alves according to Gulf News. "If I were him I would come as soon as possible because it would allow him to improve the tactical side of his game before the (2014) World Cup. Apart from that he would be coming to a club that would suit the qualities he has as a player."
Neymar's Santos Coach Ramalho has also recently been reported as saying that "I don't know if it´ll be now or later, but I think that Neymar will play for Barcelona. If he goes abroad it has to be to Barcelona, because they have a similar playing style. If we have to choose a future for Neymar, I think it´s with them."
The Brazilian star has come under fire of late because of his poor showings for the national team. Former Brazilian star Romario even questioned whether he was ready to lead the team in the 2014 World Cup. "Neymar can help Brazil to be champion, but I don't see him doing what I did in 1994, Pele in his three World Cups or Maradona in 1986 [for Argentina]."