Neymar (holding trophy) of Brazil's Santos FC celebrates with teammates after they beat Chile's Universidad de Chile to win the Recopa Sudamericana Championship soccer match in Sao Paulo, September 26, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker (BRAZIL - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) )
For fans dreaming of Neymar-Messi combinations or Neymar-Oscar-Mata combos, they might have to wait some time.
As the January transfer window nears and the rumors swirl regarding the 20-year old phenom's destination, only one thing seems to be clear: Neymar is not going anywhere.
According to ESPN.com, Neymar is quashing the rumors and stating that he is not leaving yet. He had made a promise to remain with current club Santos until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but a recent falling out with his agency DIS implied that he might want to run off. DIS currently owns 40 percent of Neymar's economic rights and moved Brazilian Ganso from Santos to rival club Sao Sao Paulo.
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"From the moment you hear from my mouth, or from my dad's mouth that I will leave, then you can start to believe it," said the Brazilian super star. "There are always rumors and I am always saying 'no, I'm staying'. Then, you guys always say I'm leaving. So, please, believe me for once."
Barcelona almost signed Neymar last summer but he decided he was not ready. He has stated an interest to play with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in France and his friendship with Chelsea's Oscar has been well documented. But it may be an issue of Neymar not feeling himself ready or it could be a matter of loyalty to Santos. Many Brazilian legends have already made their opinions heard regarding his departure.
Rivaldo and Ronaldo have stated that he must go to Europe if Brazil hopes to lift the World Cup in 2014, while Pele and legendary coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo have countered that Neymar is still too young for the rigors of European soccer.
The January window will clearly indicate if Neymar is ready to switch continents or if Santos will be his club until after 2014.