Neymar's father cools talk of Barcelona contract extension
Neymar's father insists that his son is still yet to sign a contract extension with Barcelona, saying that talks about a new deal will not begin until May.
ESPN Brasil reported on Thursday that the superstar attacker, 24, signed a new five-year agreement with the Catalan club during December's Club World Cup in Japan, but the announcement has been delayed due to their ongoing legal issues in both Spain and Brazil.
However the Brazil captain's father and agent has said in AS that talks about extending his current contract had not yet begun -- in part because of how busy he had been defending himself against charges relating to the controversial transfer from Santos in 2013.
"We hope that Neymar renews his contract," Neymar Sr. said. "He still has two more years left and the fans can be relaxed during this time. Now we will begin to talk, but we have not sat down yet. We have spent so much time defending ourselves from accusations that it was too early to talk about renewing the contract.
"We are relaxed with all that we are doing at Barcelona and I believe the club are too. We will speak with [Barca president Josep Maria] Bartomeu in May and come up with a path for Neymar and Barca to take together."
Other clubs around Europe have made offers for Neymar -- whose release clause is €190 million -- Neymar Sr. said, while suggesting such approaches for Barca's big name attackers were common and not such a big deal.
"Barcelona received a proposal last year and they rejected it," he said. "These offers are returning now and Barca are prepared to reject them. But these offers are coming not just for Neymar, also for [Luis] Suarez and [Lionel] Messi..."
Real Madrid had not however made contact with either player or club, Neymar's father said.
"[Madrid] have not contacted us," he said. "And the club has not spoken with them either. This is speculation, we have been living with this since Neymar was 16. Now we have more experience and we must wait until May or June."
"Neymar is very happy at Barcelona, the fans should be relaxed."