Neymar has signed a new five-year contract extension which ties him to the Catalan club until 2021 and puts to bed any dreams Manchester United had of signing him.
The player, the club and his representatives confirmed the extension, as expected, on Thursday.
The 24-year-old Brazilian forward posted on Twitter that he was “very happy to keep living this dream.”
“Neymar wants to continue with us. In the next few days, we will close the deal for his renovation. At no point did we say a risk, as he always wanted to continue with us,” said Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
The announcement ends speculation that Neymar, whose contract was going to end in 2018, was looking to leave the La Liga giants.
The agency representing the star forward, NN Consultoria, also confirmed the deal with the Spanish champions.
“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.”
Muito feliz de continuar vivendo esse sonho! VISCA BARÇA y VISCA CATALUNYA ?? pic.twitter.com/N8KXEgt5eA
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) June 30, 2016
Yesterday a report in the Daily Star claimed Manchester United had launched an ‘all-out offensive’ to sign Neymar. The tabloid’s source was the Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, who claimed Jose Mourinho wanted the striker to move to Old Trafford at all costs.
The Portuguese boss may well have wanted the Brazilian superstar, but the stories of a move appear to have been created to gain the player leverage whilst he negotiated a lucrative new deal.
“There are three big clubs in the world that want to sign Neymar and pay a clause of €200m to Barcelona,” Ribeiro said earlier this month.
Neymar has been at Barcelona since moving from Brazilian club Santos in 2013.
Meanwhile, Bartomeu said Barca would be active in the transfer market this summer – with a £20million fee for France defender Samuel Umtiti from Lyon already agreed.
“Sixty million euros (£50m) is the figure that the sporting area is working on to dedicate to new signings,” added Bartomeu. “We’re looking for reinforcements.
“Some of those were youth products of Barca while others could come from outside. We have a great team. We’ve won seven of the last nine titles…and we have Messi, the best player in the world.”