Neymar has signed new five-year Barcelona contract - reports

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Neymar signed a new five-year contract extension with Barcelona in December, ESPN Brazil have exclusively revealed.

It’s understood that the Brazil international put pen-to-paper on a new deal while in Japan with the rest of the Barça squad at the FIFA Club World Cup tournament.

But an official announcement has not been made, according to the same report, for commercial reasons and the tax issue involving the Barcelona star.


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Neymar, whose contract was previously set to expire in 2018, has now become the second highest-paid player at the Camp Nou behind Lionel Messi.

And news of his renewal will come as a blow to the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona’s fierce rivals Real Madrid, who were all interested in signing the world-class Brazilian.

Huge boost for Barcelona

Neymar’s renewal is a massive boost for his current employers. The 24-year-old has been a revelation at the Camp Nou since arriving from Santos in the summer of 2013.

He scored 15 goals in 41 appearances in his debut campaign with the Catalan giants but took his game to a whole new level last season - netting a magnificent 39 goals in 51 matches and helping his team win a historic treble in the process.

Neymar has been just as effective this term, scoring 23 goals in 33 games.

Neymar is a future Ballon d'Or winner

He finished third in the voting for the 2015 Ballon d’Or - behind Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo - and it would come as no surprise if the South American wins football’s most prestigious individual accolade within the next couple of years.

With Messi set to turn 29 in June, and Suarez having turned the same age last month, Barcelona knew it was imperative to secure Neymar’s services for the long term.

Barcelona must find more funds

Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Guillem Balague recently revealed that Barcelona, at this moment in time, cannot afford to renew the contracts of Neymar, Messi and Suarez - unless they “find more funds”.

But Neymar was clearly the priority for Barcelona, given his age and immense potential, and the reigning European champions will be delighted that they’ve tied down the player widely tipped to succeed Messi as the best in the world once the Argentine superstar begins to decline.

But Barça will be just as desperate to keep Messi and Suarez at the club. The ‘M’ and the ’S’ in the ‘MSN’ are, of course, equally as important as Neymar and the trio’s friendship is one of the reasons they have been so successful over the past 18 months.

Messi is still the jewel in Barcelona's crown

Messi is still the best player in the world, and the jewel in Barcelona’s crown, but renewing his contract could prove to be the most difficult because of the huge amounts of money involved.

Expect Barcelona to announce a few lucrative commercial deals in the not-too-distant future.

Barcelona fans: is Neymar destined to become the world’s best player? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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