How a Qatari club could affect Tottenham, Arsenal and Southampton's striker hunt

Internacional say they will not sell Leandro Damiao until they have signed Nilmar from Al Rayyan as a replacement.

Leandro Damiao … what a nightmare trying to sign this player has become.

Internacional are remaining the last bastion of Brazilian football not to bow to external pressure to sell their star player. Santos sold Neymar, Corinthians sold Paulinho and Atletico Mineiro are happy to sell Bernard; the Porto Alegre side however will not bow to pressure.

But recently there has appeared to be a thaw in the proceedings; almost as if Internacional could be willing to talk business should the right offer come up.

And the main reason for their apparent openness to a transfer has been their identification of a suitable replacement; and one they know very well.

Nilmar is a Brazilian international who never quite lived up the glowing assessment bestowed upon him as a youngster.

When he first left Internacional in 2004 for Lyon it was supposed to be the start of a brilliant new adventure; he flopped.

He then played at Corinthians when they were relegated before returning to Internacional for a second spell.

It was then he was given a second shot at European football with Spanish side Villarreal. When The Yellow Submarine were relegated last summer Nilmar was immediately placed up for sale and ended up in Qatar with Al Rayyan.

This summer Internacional want to bring him in for a third spell at the club and hoped Al Rayyan would be open to the idea of selling him; and if that was to be the case than the Brazilian outfit could be open to the possibility of selling Damiao; as confirmed by the clubs sporting director Cesar Luis Souto de Moura:

“If Al-Rayyan are able to hold on to Nilmar. Then we will do the same with Damiao.”

Which is not only bad news for Tottenham, who have been linked with the 23-year-old for the past two summers, but also Arsenal. It means that Spurs simply won’t get their man whilst Napoli will turn their attentions elsewhere; to Gonzalo Higuain.

So the future striking positions at both Spurs and Arsenal, and let’s not forget Southampton also want Damiao, could all be decided by the future of a journeyman striker playing in the Middle East. 

image: © simonw92

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch