Barcelona forward Neymar has agreed a new five-year contract which will tie him up to the La Liga giants until the summer of 2021 and end speculation about his future.
Club president Josep Bartomeu revealed earlier this week that the Brazilian attacker has no intention to leave the Spanish champions and that the club expect Neymar to sign a contract extension to ward off interest from a host of elite European clubs.
“Neymar does not want to leave Barca and we don’t want him to go. In the next few days we will announce his contract renewal for five seasons.” Bartomeu said in a news conference on Thursday.
“It’s normal that many clubs are interested in Neymar but our club members need to be calm because our club’s lawyers and Neymar will iron out the minor details in the coming days.”
The 24-year-old was reportedly targeted by Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Real Madrid and his agent Wagner Ribeiro even went on to claim that three European clubs were prepared to pay the player’s £157 million release clause this summer.
Ever since, however, Barcelona have acted swiftly to keep the Brazilian at the club, who has created an outstanding connection with his fellow club strikers Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to form a deadly attacking trio at Camp Nou.
Neymar confirmed his stay at Barcelona by posting a picture on social media with a message: “Very happy to continue living that dream! Long live Barca! Long live Catalonia!”
Muito feliz de continuar vivendo esse sonho! VISCA BARÇA y VISCA CATALUNYA 🔴🔵 pic.twitter.com/N8KXEgt5eA
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) June 30, 2016
The former Santos striker scored 27 goals and provided 16 assists last season as Barcelona clinched La Liga and Copa Del Rey for two seasons in the running.
Neymar, who is represented by the football agency NN Consultoria, also released a statement to confirm that the 24-year-old has decided to extend his stay at the Spanish club.
“The athlete, along with his family, has decided to stay with FC Barcelona and will renew his contract for five more years,” the statement said.
“The contract will be formalised this week. The decision puts an end to speculation about the star’s future.”