Today is the beginning of “Silly Season” aka the international soccer transfer window opens and we’ll all be exposed to the most ridiculous, non-fact based transfer rumors in all of sports media. Every season the rumors become more sensationalized and even less fact based than the year before. Anyone with a keyboard can make stuff up, so depending on who you follow on Twitter beware as the lines between fact and fiction have become blurred. Until the player is photographed holding the jersey, shaking the hand of the manager/owner and the papers are signed I never believe what I hear.
Last summer we were dragged through the muck and mire of the Neymar-Barcelona divorce and there’s a possibility we might have to go through yet another Neymar transfer saga. Reports have kept surfacing over the last six months that Neymar has already grown tired of Paris St. Germain, whom he’s played a whopping one season for, actually half a season since he’s been injured since February. The latest and greatest out of Neymar’s camp is that he prefers a move to Real Madrid.
I don’t believe these rumors, not for a second. PSG won’t let him go after just one season, not for the price they paid (€222M). He’s been named French Ligue 1 player of the season while scoring 19 goals and adding 15 assists in 20 games; in all competitions he scored 28 in 30 appearances. PSG won their league (no surprise) and despite their Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid in the Round of 16, Neymar proved to the world he can lead a team on his own without the shadows of Messi and Suarez.
Now Neymar’s debut campaign wasn’t without controversy, he did spat on multiple occasions with striking partner Edinson Cavani over who should take penalty kicks and their Champions League loss led to manager Unai Emery’s contract not being renewed. That role has been filled by Thomas Tuchel an up and coming manager who ran an attacking offense at BVB Dortmund in Germany that will only fuel Neymar’s already lofty goal scoring tally.
Of course comments from former Brazilian legends are only stoking the fire:
“If Neymar doesn’t leave PSG he will never win anything important. Especially the Champions League which is the most important competition” — Rivaldo
It’s early, and while the only “confirmed” transfer appears to be Wayne Rooney heading to DC United of the MLS below are the list of categories that I’m seeing for the initial round of transfer chatter.
- The Real Madrid and Manchester United to buy everyone rumors
- The Incredibles: Hazard, Courtois, Lewandowski, Vidal, Nainggolan
- The Usual Suspects: Griezmann, Cavani, Bale, Mahrez, Di Maria
- The London’s Calling: Papastathopoulos, Mertens, Fekir, Werner, Leno, Seri
- The Fresh Start: Yaya Toure
- The Thankless All-Stars: Khedira, Dzeko, Emre Can
- The Next Levels: Martial, Dembele, Willian, Eriksen, Bailly
- The Youth Movement: Sessegnon, Kluivert, Pulisic, De Ligt, Donnarumma
- The MLS Movers: Rooney, Torres
- The Relegation Raiders: Butland, Shaqiri, Evans