It has now been confirmed that Neymar will stay with Barcelona till 2021, after signing a five-year contract extension with the club.
Neymar’s future had been the subject of much speculation over the past 12 months, with both the player’s camp and the Barca board regularly saying a new deal was close but not done yet.
The club President, Josep Bartomeu, had revealed earlier in the week that the Brazilian attacker has no intention to leave the Spanish champions and that the club expects Neymar to sign a contract extension to ward off interest from a host of elite European clubs, as both Manchester United and Paris St-Germain were both rumoured to be interested in the 24-year-old.
The statement on the club’s website officially confirming his stay reads:
“FC Barcelona and the player Neymar Jr have signed a contract extension for the footballer which will keep him at the club for the next five seasons, until 30 June 2021.
“On 15 July in Barcelona, before the player joins up with the Brazilian national side for the Olympic Games, the agreement will be presented formally.”
Neymar also 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!”
The Brazilian’s release clause has been set at 200m euros (£167m), rising to 222m (£186m) in the second and 250m (£209m) for the final three. Barcelona were forced to pay a £4.3m fine last month, due to mistakes in Neymar’s transfer from Santos.
The forward has also scored 46 goals in 70 appearances for his country. In 141 games for the Catalans, he has scored 85 goals. Neymar has also been part of two La Liga title-winning sides, has lifted the Copa del Rey twice and the Spanish Super Cup and Club World Cup once each. He scored in the Champions League final victory over Juventus in 2015.