Football: Barcelona tie Neymar down for five years with $374 million buyout clause

Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar acknowledges the crowd during celebrations at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 23, 2016.
Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar acknowledges the crowd during celebrations at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 23, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

(AFP) - Brazilian striker Neymar has signed a five-year contract extension which includes a buyout clause of up to €250 million (S$374 million dollars), the Spanish club said on Friday.

The deal will keep the 24-year-old international, widely regarded as one of the finest talents in world football, at Barcelona until June 30, 2021, the club said in a statement.

"The player's buyout clause has been fixed at €200 million for the first year of his contract, €222 million for the second and €250 million for the remaining three years," the statement added. The previous buyout clause was €190 million.

The club said it will formally present the new deal in Barcelona on July 15, before Neymar joins up with the Brazilian national side for the Olympic Games.

Neymar was already under contract until 2018 with Barcelona, having transferred in 2013 from Brazil's Santos.

That transfer deal has haunted the club because of alleged hidden payments that have sparked legal action.

But the prolific Brazil striker has played brilliantly for the Catalan club as part of a much feared attacking trident alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Speculation had mounted around whether or not Neymar would extend his stay at the Nou Camp or make another lucrative move.

Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Manchester City had previously been named as possible suitors.