Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is plotting an audacious move to sign Barcelona forward Neymar, it has been claimed. 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 AS said Perez was drawing plans for a "major offensive" 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.
The 23-year-old's future came under the spotlight after 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.
'No intention to leave'
Last week, Marca claimed Neymar was on the verge of signing a fresh six-year contract at the Nou Camp worth €15m (£10.5m) per year, potentially making him the third-highest paid player in the world after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Speaking after the win over Real Sociedad on 28 November, the former Santos star said he was happy at the Nou Camp and had no intention of leaving the Catalan capital. "I've still got years on my contract – my father has already spoken about my future," Neymar was quoted as saying by Sport. "We're talking about a renewal because my intention is to do so."
After scoring twice in the 4-0 victory over La Real, Neymar said he tried the rest of the match to set up a goal for Messi, who only recently returned from a knee injury. He successfully managed to provide an assist for the Argentine in the first minute of stoppage time.
"It's true that, at the end, I looked for Leo so he could score his goal," La Liga's top scorer said. "Off the pitch, he helps us a lot. I'm happy when [Luis] Suarez and Messi score, and they are when I do. I'm very happy with everything we're doing at the moment. I want to help my teammates and keep scoring and creating goals."