Bayern Munich has joined Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City among the ranks of those interested in signing Neymar. The German giant is preparing a transfer offer that, if successful, would make the Brazilian star the most expensive player in history, according to Metro.
“But it looks as though the Blues [Chelsea FC] are set to miss out on bringing him to London, with runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich preparing a gargantuan bid of £86 million [$129.7 million] for the Santos star, according to Spanish source Sport,” Metro claims.
Neymar has emerged as one of world soccer’s brightest stars in recent years, shining for Santos and the Brazilian national team. In 2011, he led Santos to glory in the Copa Libertadores (South America’s continental championship for clubs) in 2011. He also captured the South American Footballer of the Year award in 2011 and 2012. Leading clubs have courted him for some time, but his desire to stay in his homeland (where he earns a hefty salary) is stronger than any interest he has in “proving himself” in one of Europe’s top leagues.
Neymar’s contract with Santos expires after the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He has repeatedly said that he intends to remain with the Brazilian club until 2014, despite a flood of rumors linking him to Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and other clubs. Last week, Santos offered him a contract extension, signalling its wish to keep hold of the young star for the long-term.
Neymar could sign a new deal with Santos, but that wouldn’t prevent him from moving to a European club this summer. It was thought the bidding would start around £50 million ($75.6 million), but the reported price Bayern is willing to pay could end a bidding war before it has a chance to begin in earnest. The figure would also pass the record £80 million Real Madrid paid Manchester United for Ronaldo in 2009.
Bayern is cruising to the Bundesliga (German first division) title, has one foot in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal and is already a world leader in the business of soccer. With former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola set to become its head coach next season, excitement was already high in Bavaria. Adding Neymar to an already star-studded squad could cause the jubilation to boil over.