Neymar to be handed '£150million contract' by Barcelona to ward off Man Utd interest
Neymar is to be handed a new contract worth £500,000-a-week by Barcelona to ward off interest from Manchester United, according to reports.
The Brazilian striker had been the subject of interest from United during the summer transfer window, although no formal bid was ever lodged.
In order to head off any possible interest in the January window, Barca are now reported to be preparing a six-year deal worth £150million.
The offer would mean that Neymar would be earning just under the salary of Lionel Messi, the top earning footballer in the world.
According to The Sun, Barca plan to open talks with Neymar and his representatives just before Christmas.
The news would represent another blow for United, who have vowed to pursue one or two marquee names in future transfer windows rather than several players as they did this summer.
They were also interested in Thomas Muller, the Bayern Munich striker, with club president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealing on Friday that he turned down an extremely lucrative offer for the forward this summer.
The Bundesliga champions refused to sell Muller during the transfer window but Rummenigge revealed there had been a hefty sum on the table at one point.
"I'm talking about figures which were very high indeed," he said. "If I were a bank manager then I would have had to accept it.
"But as a football club we allowed ourselves to close the door on it, and this door is remaining closed. I can promise that to everybody.
"But one thing is for certain, in view of the increased television money in England things are not going to get any easier for Bayern in future."
Messi and his Argentine teammate Sergio Aguero stole the show as the national team warmed up for the start of World Cup qualifying next month with a 7-0 thrashing of Bolivia on Friday.
Aguero scored twice and set up two more for Ezequiel Lavezzi in a one-sided victory at Houston's BBVA Compass Stadium as Messi grabbed a quickfire double after coming on as a second half substitute. Angel Correa added the seventh.