FC Barcelona forward Neymar is close to signing an extension at the Catalan club, ending months of speculation regarding his future.
Barcelona fans will breathe a huge sigh of relief upon hearing the news of Neymar nearing an extension to his contract that will tie him to the club till at least 2022. The Brazilian’s future has been under speculation by the media amidst interest from the English giants Manchester United and French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
According to a report in Sport, Neymar is likely to stay at Barcelona after turning down an opportunity to sign with PSG. The report also goes on to state that Neymar’s father, who is also the Barcelona star’s agent, informed PSG that his son does not intend to leave Barcelona. Neymar’s father has come under constant scrutiny in the past regarding his involvement in the complicated and ambiguous 3rd party deal from the Brazilian club Santos.
PSG and Manchester United have been believed to be chasing the Brazilian striker for quite a while now. The Ligue 1 champions have also shown an interest in activating the humongous release clause for Neymar, which is believed to be somewhere around £153m.
Earlier in the month, reports came in that PSG were willing to pay a world record transfer fee for the 24-year-old to replace their outgoing striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has decided against extending his contract with the French Champions. PSG are trying to lure Neymar to France with a significant pay raise, according to a report in the Daily Mail. The Brazilian starlet, considering his stature and contribution, earns a modest £77,000-a-week at the Catalan club.
Neymar- The Future flag bearer at Barcelona
Neymar has formed arguabably the most lethal attacking force at Barcelona any generation has ever seen, by teaming up with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. Also known as the ‘MSN’, the strike trio has wreaked havoc in La Liga by consistently scoring a combined total of more than 100 goals in a season alone, over the last two campaigns.
Arguably the top 3 players in the South American continent at the moment, their partnership is bound to be fruitful in the coming seasons as well. However, looking at a long term future for Barcelona, Messi and Suarez are 29 and one could argue that their potency as strikers may start to decrease after a couple of years.
Whereas, Neymar is 24, and many believe has a good 7-8 years of football at his peak left in him. Taking the age factor into consideration, it is important that Barcelona hold on to their star striker and value him equally, if not more than Messi and Suarez.