Football: Neymar agrees new five-year Barcelona deal

Neymar (above) was already under contract until 2018 with Barcelona, having transferred in 2013 from Brazil’s Santos.
Neymar (above) was already under contract until 2018 with Barcelona, having transferred in 2013 from Brazil’s Santos. PHOTO: REUTERS

SAO PAULO (AFP) - Brazilian striker Neymar will sign a new five-year contract with Barcelona this week, his agents said on Thursday (June 30), ending speculation over his future at the Spanish giants.

"The athlete, along with his family, has decided to stay with FC Barcelona and will renew his contract for five more years," said NN Consultoria, the agency representing the international forward, 24.

"The contract will be formalised this week. The decision puts an end to speculation about the star's future."

Neymar wrote on Twitter: "I am very happy to continue living this dream. Long live Barca and long live Catalonia!"

The Catalan club's president Josep Maria Bartomeu had earlier rejected rumours over Neymar's possible transfer to another club, with Manchester United among the teams supposedly chasing him.

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 Camp Nou or make another lucrative move.

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

"I read that there are many clubs interested in Neymar. It's normal they are, but Neymar has never said he wants to leave Barca, just the opposite," Bartomeu said.

"Neymar wants to continue at Barca and Barca wants Neymar to continue with us."