Neymar’s future at Barcelona has long been up the air because of poor form, financial restrictions and his recent tax scandal.
The Brazilian’s contract is up for renegotiation this year after arriving at the Camp Nou in 2013 and it now seems that the two parties are close to agreeing a new deal.
According to the Mirror, Neymar is set to sign a contract extension that would keep him in Catalonia for a further six years, extending his stay until he turns 30.
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Barcelona have been eager to secure the Brazil international’s long-term future for months now, especially so amidst interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.
However, it appears they’ve taken steps to doing just that with their new financial year to begin in the summer.
As a result of the new contract, Neymar’s release clause is due to sky rocket from €190 million (£150 million) to a huge €220 million, second only to Lionel Messi.
As expected, the 24-year-old will also see his salary rise considerably.
And you can hardly blame Barcelona for wanting to tie down their Brazilian superstar, who has been a revelation since signing three years ago.
He’s endured brief spells of poor form throughout the current campaign, but the fact remains that alongside Luis Suarez and Messi, Neymar is one of the world’s finest attacking players.
It seems his Uruguayan teammate thinks so too, with Suarez recently insisting the Brazil international will one day become the world’s best player.
He said: “Neymar and I, we have an understanding that Leo is the best in the world, but Neymar is learning to be the best and has everything needed to do so.
“He’s been in Barcelona for three years, has learnt a lot here and is totally different from when he arrived.
“He believes in his qualities and is a great player on a world level.”
His statistics from this season only serve to reinforce Suarez’s opinion. In 44 games this term, Neymar has scored 27 goals and assisted a further 16.
However, the winger isn’t quite as popular at the Camp Nou as one might suspect.
In a recent Spanish poll, 62% of the 7,000 participants said they would sell Neymar.
Pinpointing why exactly Barca fans want him gone remains unknown, but rumours suggest they would rather see the money made from his sale invested elsewhere.
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