Barcelona Neymar coup could see the return of Santos’ prodigal duo

After selling Neymar could Santos bring former Manchester City player Robinho and his former partner in crime Diego back to Brazil?

After quite literally years of speculation of when and where Brazilian wonderkid Neymar would leave Santos, and for whom it would be, we are now wiser.

The 21-year-old sat posing with the Blaugrana strip draped over his shoulder like a nonchalant towel for a beach trip as the hysteria around his future ended; Neymar will leave for Barcelona this summer.

The Selecao star, who has divided opinion on his ability in recent months, played his final game for his beloved Santos against Flamengo on Sunday evening; and left the pitch in floods of tears as well-wishers saw him off from the 0-0 draw.

But while many will question his decision to move on, in the season directly before a home World Cup, the question of finance does not seem to be an issue.

Santos are expected to receive a figure in the region of £20 million for his signature; although the official terms of the complex deal have not been released.

Now despite the continued financial growth of Brazilian football that is still a large sum for which they can play around with; and the obvious route to take is that being rumoured now.

While Santos’ greatest two eras came under the pedigree of Pele and Neymar they were also pretty good at the start of the millennium; when two young players in particular were emerging from their ranks.

The prodigal duo of Diego and Robinho were two of the most coveted players on the planet as their swashbuckling and freestyle like playing philosophy conquered Brazil in 2002 and 2004.

By 2005 both were playing in mainland Europe but things have not exactly gone entirely to plan for either player.

Robinho has strutted his stuff across Spain, to England and now in Italy but never truly settled anywhere; despite his obvious God-given talent he is clearly a man who has been homesick for a long time.

Diego has had his best success in Germany. Spells in Portugal and Italy were largely uninspiring but he is regarded a cult hero at Werder Bremen and VfL Wolfsburg.

But with both reportedly up for sale this summer it is widely believed Santos will pursue both players signatures; with the hope of a place in the World Cup squad an extra incentive to make their return to Brazilian football.

Now with the Neymar money available they might actually be able to pull it off.

image: © Alfonso Jimenez

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