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Thursday 14 December 2017

Neymar was close to Manchester United move before signing new Barcelona contract

Barcelona's Neymar
Barcelona's Neymar

Jack Austin

Brazilian superstar Neymar came close to joining Manchester United or Paris Saint-Germain before signing a Barcelona contract extension, his agent has claimed.

The forward joined the La Liga giants in 2013 from Santos but had been keen to improve his contract before committing to the club until 2021 at the start of July.

However, his agent, Wagner Ribeiro, has revealed he turned down offers from PSG and United which would have made him the world’s best-paid player to stay at the Nou Camp.

“He was very close to PSG,” Ribeiro told Brazilian media. “He would have earned €40m a year, free.

“Neymar was also close to a move to Manchester United. But he renewed his contract for less money with Barcelona, because he wants to stay in Barcelona.”

The deal would have earned Neymar £650,000-a-week after tax, almost double the existing record.

Ribeiro also admitted that the Ligue 1 champions offered €190m (£160m) to sign Neymar in the summer.

The Brazilian’s new deal contains a buyout clause of €200m for the first year of the contract, €222m for the second and €250m for the remaining three years, until 2021.

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