Neymar has scored 14 goals in 16 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions this season Reuters

Barcelona are reportedly on the verge of securing Neymar's services for the foreseeable future after talks over a six-year contract worth €15m (£10.5m) per year edged towards completion. Neymar, whose current deal expires in 2018, has been one of the Catalan giants' key players this season, and talks over a contract extension have been taking place since the start of the campaign.

Spanish daily Marca said the Brazil star would be offered a significant pay rise as part of a new contract that runs until the summer of 2021. The new deal, which Neymar is reportedly close to signing, would make him the third-highest paid player in the world behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, according to the paper.

The 23-year-old's future came under the spotlight last week when his father, Neymar Sr, said tax problems could see the forward leave Spain. Manchester United were interested in signing Neymar in the summer, with the player confirming that he had held talks with the Premier League side.

'Neymar will be the best'

Neymar has led Barcelona's attack superbly in the absence of Lionel Messi, who only recently returned from a knee injury that had kept him sidelined for two months.

His goal scoring form drew praise from his national team boss Dunga, who said he was performing at a "superior" level than Messi and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

Neymar has been in inspired form for Barcelona Reuters

Former Brazil forward Ronaldo backed Neymar to pip Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the Ballon d'Or crown in 2016. "I would bet on Neymar next year. I think Neymar is still growing a lot and I think the growth of Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi has reached its limit," Ronaldo told Reuters.

"Maybe they will be there another year or two and I think it's natural that Neymar takes over that position in which Brazil has always had representatives.

"I really want Neymar to win and interrupt the series of Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi," the three-time World Player of the Year said.

"I think this year it will be between the two of them again. I don't know if Neymar will finish in third."