Just what everyone wanted: It's yet another strange twist in the increasingly surreal Neymar transfer saga. The Brazilian wonderkid, as I'm sure you'll all remember, was just a couple of months ago considered a sure thing to sign for Chelsea, but since then the situation has changed dramatically, first with the news that Real Madrid had signed him, then that they hadn't, and last we checked in on Santos they were claiming that five teams had met a £40M release clause for the 19-year-old (everyone else said that it was just Real).
It should come as no surprise that Santos have now come out with something even stranger.
In the face of continuous speculation over the future of Neymar by the national and international press, I state that Neymar is not negotiable for technical, market and attachment reasons. Technically, he is the best active Brazilian player.
He was decisive in the conquest of four titles for Santos in the past 18 months, plus the pre-Olympics for the Brazil national squad, at the start of the year. He is the biggest idol in the national team while playing in the country, something which has not happened in many years.
-Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro. Source: ESPN Soccernet.
Within less than a week, Santos have claimed that a (previously unknown) release clause has been met for Neymar and then said that he absolutely is not for sale. I'm inclined to believe that nobody can translate Portuguese, because those two statements are mutually incompatible. If Neymar has a release clause, Santos can't stop him from leaving, and if he doesn't... what on earth was all the release clause chat about then?
Frankly, this is getting to the point where pretty much everything coming out of a Ribeiro's (both president and agent) mouth sounds like complete and utter tosh. At some point they'll land on something that actually happens, but that's only because they've worked their way through every single possibility and been loud and outspoken about all of them.
I'm pretty sick of this transfer saga. Neymar's good and all that, but the way Santos have elected to handle it makes me want to kick everyone involved in the head. That's not because Chelsea won't get him - I've preferred Alexis Sanchez and Javier Pastore for a while, so there's no jealousy there, but the mass of statements that they've issued are just the most frustrating things in the world to attempt to parse. This whole thing is more annoying than Neymar's hair.