Neymar’s new contract will reportedly see the Barcelona attacker earn €25m a season after tax – €3m more than Lionel Messi.
According to Marca, Barca were forced to negotiate the eye-watering terms, which were “well above” what they initially planned to offer him, as a result of interest from rival clubs.
Paris Saint-Germain were understood to be willing to meet the Brazilian’s former release clause of €190m and pay him a salary of €40m, while Real Madrid are Manchester United are said to have held talks with the player’s father at the end of last season.
Consequently, Barca felt obligated to offer Neymar the most lucrative fixed contract in world football, although the No 11 still lags behind the Argentine and Cristiano Ronaldo when taking into account off-field earnings.
Neymar’s lawyer Marcos Motta tweeted in the wake of Friday’s official announcement that the 24-year-old had signed “the biggest contract in the history of football”.
His agent Wagner Ribeiro was later quoted as congratulating him for “becoming the most valuable player in football”.