La Liga champions Barcelona have agreed the signing of Santos forward Neymar da Silva Santos Junior.
Neymar will sign a five year contract with Barcelona on Monday after spending nine years with the Brazilian club. Santos had on Friday revealed they have accepted two offers for the Brazilian with Barcelona being in the fore front of the two bidders and Real Madrid assumed to be the other. Neymar had taken his time to mull over the offers and has confirmed his decision, writing on Instagram: “I’m here with friends and family and they have helped me to write a few things here. I’m not going to hold out until Monday. My family and friends already know my decision. “On Monday I will sign a contract with Barcelona.” The 21- year- old’s contract at Santos was due to expire at the end of next season and some reports had suggested an agreement with Barcelona was reached as much as a year ago. In a statement released on Barcelona’s official website the club confirmed that Neymar will be at the Nou Camp for the next five seasons. “FC Barcelona and Santos have agreed to terms for Neymar da Silva Santos Junior. The Brazilian forward will don the Blaugrana strip for the next five seasons. The 21- year- old is one of the most promising footballers on the planet.” Neymar will bid farewells to the Santos fans at Sunday’s season- opening game against Flamengo. He joined Santos youth team in 2003 and later traveled to Spain to trial with Real Madrid, the forward returned to the Vila Belmiro stadium where he made his Santos debut at the age of 17 in 2009. Since the times of the great Pele, Santos have enjoyed their greatest period of success with Neymar, winning three straight Campeonato Paulista titles and Copa do Brasil. In 2009, the club won the Copa Libertodores for the first time since 1963 and Neymar emerged the South American Footballer of the Year as well as winning the Puskas Award for the world’s best goal that same year. Neymar is a superstar in Brazil; revered by most sections of the Santos fans as a demigod or/an idol. His departure deals a big blow to Santos fans, who had hoped he will stay till after the 2014 Brazil World Cup. In a statement, Santos also confirmed the transfer agreement and disclosed they had made every effort to hold on to their playmaker. However, they chose not to disclose the terms of the contract. “The management committee of Santos FC announces that it has received notification from the athlete Neymar Jr. advising that he has decided to accept the proposal of Barcelona. The transfer of playmaker to the Spanish team will be sealed in the coming days. “After refusing a offers of many millions for Neymar Jr. since mid- 2010, and implemented a career plan that allowed his historic stay for several years, bucking the trend of Brazilian football to quickly sell its greatest talent, Santos FC finally agreed to sell. “Every effort was made to keep him in Brazil as long as possible, even offering to renew the current contract, which ended in July 2014. At this time, however, it was not possible to compete with the terms offered from abroad, which affected the decision of the player to review his professional life. “Due to the confidentiality agreement and by mutual agreement, the terms of the transfer will not be disclosed by any of the parties. “More than an idol, Neymar Jr. became a myth not only for Santos, but for Brazilians and football fans around the world. “The club says goodbye for now to its playmaker, wishing you much success in your new journey, certain that Vila Belmiro (stadium) will continue being your second home,” the statement concluded.