Neymar, with Real Madrid in their heads
Big decisions are looming at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu that will have ripple effects for the coming years, but none may be as important as the proposed acquisition of Neymar.
The five titles in 2017 had the world believing it was only the beginning of years of success, but for many, Real Madrid have now fallen into oblivion. While fans may have their sights set on who Real may acquire this winter window, the club have set them much further. The strategic decisions ahead will not only have to serve their purpose on the pitch, but also economically, a model the club has not changed since 2000. Signs from the team's play this year have been worrying to say the least, and it has become clear that a need for a mega star to reinvigorate the team is crucial.
That name is one that all of Real Madrid's supporters have had in mind, as well as the clubs leaders, and it happens to be none other than Neymar. While the club remain steadfast in their search for that level of difference maker, they continue to experiment with young players such as Vinicius, who may one day become a star, and who is fighting to be one of the best in the world. Still, their search for a Galactico goes on; a caliber of player who has not arrived since James Rodriguez in the summer of 2014. It will have to be a strategic signing and as such, with Kylian Mbappe already thriving at Paris Saint Germain, the list is very small. The belief of the club is that the total operation could cost somewhere around 400 million euros. Other players that have been discussed include Harry Kane, Eden Hazard and Timo Werner, but none can reach the level of Neymar, whose arrival, would be a massive blow to Barcelona on the same lines as Luis Figo.
Out of respect, Real's hierarchy will not pursue the player without Paris Saint-Germain's prior knowledge, and though the intention from the French club is not to sell, it's also true that Madrid possess something the Parisian club has long wanted -- Cristiano Ronaldo. Madrid's leaders know signing the Brazilian would be complicated, but they are aware that factors exist which could see it come to fruition in the summer of 2019. The first is Neymar's own desire to wear the white shirt.
The club have received encouraging messages lately, which started in London at FIFA's 'The Best' awards, when the player sat in very close proximity to the delegation from Los Blancos. Over the past few days, speculation has continued as an ambassador to Real Madrid was seen next to Neymar during his vacation, furthering speculation that a deal could be reached despite appearing complicated and long. According to their numbers, Los Blancos have 200 million euros in their account that they can spend if they feel it's appropriate.
Until January 31st, anything is possible, but all indications are that the club will wait. All the while, Cristiano Ronaldo's future is more cloudy than ever.