Barcelona are close to securing Brazilian forward Neymar on a longer-term contract, according to reports. The 24-year-old, whose current deal ends in 2018, has been linked with Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Spanish radio station Cadena Cope said Neymar had signed a letter of intent with Barcelona with a view towards extending his stay at the club by three years. While the agreement is not binding, it reportedly contains clauses that could be formalised in future negotiations between the club and the player.
Neymar is preparing to face Arsenal in the Champions League round of 16 first leg at the Emirates Stadium on 23 February. He has scored 18 goals in 22 league appearances for Barcelona this season.
Manchester United interest
Neymar's future came under the spotlight after his father, Neymar Sr, said in November 2015 that tax problems could see the forward leave Spain. Reports claimed Real Madrid were drawing plans to prise the Brazil captain away from the Nou Camp, tempting him with a more lucrative contract than the one Barca are prepared to offer.
Manchester United also declared an interest in signing Neymar in 2015 summer, with the player confirming that he had held talks with the Premier League side. Neymar Sr claimed United were prepared to pay £145m ($210m) in 2015 summer to bring his son to Old Trafford but that the 23-year-old rejected the move as he was happy at Barcelona.
"Manchester United is the side that offered €190m for Neymar," he was reported as saying earlier in February by the Daily Mail. "He has still two years left on his contract but you can all be calm as my son is so happy here."
The report comes after Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu told BBC Sport that the Premier League was a greater threat to his club than Real Madrid. "We have to do our best to increase our revenues and our financial situation to make the talent of our teams stay with us," he said.
"That is why I am so worried and we are working on this. We want to keep the talent at home."