By Spain correspondent Miguel de Souza
Neymar has indicated he will sign a new Barcelona contract that will set his buy-out clause at an astonishing £193.2million, Football Insider sources understand.
The 23-year-old is close to agreeing a new contract at the Spanish club even though his father Neymar Santos Snr recently cast doubt over his future at the club due to tax issues.
Neymar has told Brazilian daily Sport that he is confident his future will be at Camp Nou. “We are in discussions and I an optimistic”, the forward said.
Manchester United and Manchester City will go head to head this summer in a bid to entice Neymar from Barcelona.
The bitter rivals and Premier League powerhouses are ready to smash the world transfer record to sign the Brazilian superstar.
However, the buy-out clause in Neymar’s new contract is expected to be set an astonishing £193.2million, equivalent to €250million.
As revealed by Football Insider last September, the defending Spanish and European champions are in talks with Neymar over extending his current £230,000-a-week deal, which runs until 2018.
Neymar’s father also confirmed in October that United made a world-record offer for the Brazil international forward last summer, which Barcelona flatly rejected.
Football Insider revealed in August that Neymar is targeting a contract worth a staggering £500,000-a-week.
The attacker, who is rated in the £100million-plus bracket, wants a huge pay rise that will take him close to team-mate Lionel Messi, who is the world’s best-paid footballer with a contract worth £530,000-a-week before taxes.
These seemingly outrageous sums will not put off United and City as they target the most likely member of the brilliant three-man forward line at Barcelona to leave in the summer.
Neymar’s current salary is less than half that of Messi. The Brazilian’s contract is set at £6.4million after tax per year, which, given the income tax rate for Spain top earners of 47 per cent, is the equivalent of £230,000-a-week.
The 23-year-old wants an improved deal that will more than double his pay to £500,000-week and will run until 2021. Over six years, the total package he is seeking would be worth an astonishing £156million.
An improved Neymar contract is a priority of Barcelona, who had always planned to offer the forward a new deal in his third year at the club and recognise they will have to offer a massive deal to keep one of their most important players.
However, Neymar Santos Sr said in November that a deal was not imminent due to other significant issues.
He said: “We’ve begun contract renewal talks, but there are outstanding issues that concern us, and which need to be resolved.
“We are not thinking of leaving Spain but we have a problem. We’ve never experienced such major tax issues.”