Manchester United's hopes to secure the services of Neymar are over after Barcelona confirmed he has signed a new five-year deal to stay at Nou Camp for the long-term. Furthermore, the La Liga giants have announced that in order to ward off potential suitors they increased the release clause of the Brazilian international to €200m (£167m, $222m) for the first year of his contract, €222m for the second and €250m for the remaining three campaigns.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed on Thursday that the the 24-year-old star was ready to commits his long-term future to the club with a new deal. Yet the chief added that there were still some "minor details" to be ironed amid Manchester United, Paris Saint Germain and Real Madrid reportedly interest in securing his services.
Bartomeu said: "Neymar wants to continue at the club and the club wants him to continue. I don't know if it will be today, tomorrow or the day after, but in the coming days we will confirm his renewal for another five seasons. There have been reports many clubs were interested in him and that's normal, but he wants to stay and we want him to stay. We're tying up the loose ends and we'll announce it in the coming days."
Neymar took his instagram account to confirm the Barcelona fans that there will not be a backtrack as he has decided to continue his dream at the La Liga and Copa del Rey Champions.
"I'm very happy to continue living this dream. Long live Barça and long live Catalonia," Neymar said via Instagram.
Neymar message put an end to months of a tug of war between his father and the Barcelona official to get a pay-rise. The club had always stated that the player was going to stay but in recent weeks his future came under huge scrutiny after Wagner Ribeiro, one of his agents, revealed three clubs were prepared to pay his client's €190m (£157m, $210m) release fee in full to lure him away from the Nou Camp.
Some suggested that Neymar was only trying to push Barcelona to get a better deal but Mundo Deportivo later revealed that PSG were offering him a stunning €30m-a-year (after tax) contract, which almost double the expected new deal he has just signed at the Nou Camp.
Furthermore, earlier this week, when everything looked ironed between Barcelona and the player, Mundo Deportivo claimed that Manchester United launched a last-ditch offer to convince Neymar to change his mind one more time and join Jose Mourinho's new project. Bartomeu failed to confirm whether those tempting offers to the player exit but Neymar has decided to stay at the Nou Camp for the long-term.
But Barcelona have now ended the saga after making the deal official through the club website.
"FC Barcelona and the player Neymar Jr. have signed a contract extension for the footballer which will keep him at the Club for the next five seasons, until 30 June 2021," the club confirmed. "The player's buy out clause has been fixed at €200m for the first year of his contract, €222m for the second and €250m for the remaining three years. On 15 July in Barcelona, before the player joins up with the Brazilian national side for the Olympic Games, the agreement will be presented formally."