Barca ‘laying Neymar groundwork’

Neymar isn’t likely to sign a new contract with Barcelona until the summer but the club reportedly hope to have the deal all-but-agreed in January.

The Brazil captain’s current contract expires in 2018 but a renewal until 2021 is up for discussion and Mundo Deportivo report Barca hope to have the contract effectively settled before the end of the season, so as not to be a distraction to events on-field.

A ‘memorandum of understanding’ could be agreed between club and player in January that would confirm the intention to sign once the campaign has come to a conclusion, but there is no rush to get Neymar to put pen to paper.

The player’s side are looking to push talks forward in January, once the holidays and FIFA Ballon d’Or are out the way. It’s noted Neymar is only thinking of Barca, but his representatives don’t expect an agreement until the end of the season.

There’s also a desire from Neymar’s side to ensure the new contract with Barca is legally sound, after the legal mess his move from Santos to Camp Nou has caused.

Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United have explored the possibility of snatching Neymar from Barca, with Madrid even offering to help conclude Neymar’s legal issues if he switches clubs, but neither the player nor his father, also his agent, were interested.

Barca will improve Neymar’s contract but want to keep him in the second tier of salaries, and his terms will remain behind those of Lionel Messi, whose contract was renewed in 2014 and runs until 2018.

Tags Neymar