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Report: Santos Agrees to FC Barcelona Transfer For Neymar

It was a long, dramatic ride but finally it's over, for real this time, according to the Catalan press. Santos accepted bids from both Real Madrid and Barcelona for the Brazilian star, but Neymar chose the Catalans.

Lintao Zhang

One of the most confusing, dramatic, and at times, irritatingly drawn-out transfer sagas comes to a close. While some reports can give you a minute-by-minute breakdown if you are obsessive and/or masochistic enough to read through them, we will stick with the bigger picture here.

Despite some astronomical prices being thrown around (some suggested his fee would be around 140 million), Barcelona had to pay "only" 25 million euro. Neymar had just months left on his current contract and would have possibly gone on a free transfer, so Santos had to pull the trigger, even at a reduced price.

Real Madrid offered substantially bigger wages (around 11m per year compared to around 7m), and submitted a higher transfer bid, but in the end, it seems personal considerations were more important for Neymar.

Negotiations increased in intensity as the day went on, and it seems only a few minor details have to be hashed out. However, there is some level of doubt as we've heard it was all done and dusted before only for that to obviously not be the case.

Assuming he really is coming, the Brazilian will have to deal with an adjustment period, as he will have to go from the biggest star in the country to not even the biggest in the city. He will also have to deal with making a transition into a higher level league, while simultaneously adjusting to life in a totally different country.

Language will be a barrier (although Spanish and Catalan are not too far removed from Portuguese), as will a change in culture (though Adriano and Dani Alves at minimum should guide him). Expectations are still high - and why wouldn't they be? Neymar is a huge talent. It may turn out to be a brilliant move, or as club legend Johann Cruyff has warned, it could be a flop.

Much will be written about it all, and again, why not? People are extremely intrigued because of the potential of either a huge spectacle and a huge train wreck.

For the moment, all we can do is wish Neymar the best... and hope we can now move on to other stories.

UPDATE: Neymar Sr., the player's father, insists no deal has been made. It seems that Santos have accepted both the Real Madrid and Barcelona bids, but Neymar has not officially chosen which club to join. However, Santos VP Odilio Rodrigues has reiterated that Neymar has an unofficial agreement to join Barcelona. It's probable that Neymar Sr., is trying to put extra pressure on Barca to up their offer as Real Madrid gave a better one in economical terms. By threatening to accept the Real Madrid offer, he can negotiate from a stronger position. However, even if that's all it is, there is still the possibility for the deal to break down.

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