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Barcelona's Neymar hints at long-term stay amid contract speculation

Neymar addressed Barcelona fans as they celebrated their season on Monday.

Neymar has hinted that he sees his long-term future at Barcelona amid continuing speculation as to whether the Brazil star will sign a new contract this summer.

Neymar's current deal with the Catalan club ends in June 2018 and talks over an extension have been ongoing for several months amid rumours that potential suitors such as Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester United could pay his €190 million release clause this summer.

Last week, Catalan radio station El Club de la Mitjanit reported that another meeting between the player's representatives and Barca directors had taken place, and a new contract extension to run until 2021 could be signed shortly.

Speaking at the party at the Camp Nou after he had scored in Barca's 2-0 Copa del Rey final win over Sevilla to complete seal a domestic league and cup double, the 24-year-old said: "It is a great season for us.

"A difficult season as we were sad after being knocked out of the Champions League, but we gave everything to win the other two trophies and there they are. Many thanks for sharing this year with us. I am happy here and Barca is my club. Visca el Barca y Visca Catalunya."

Barca defender Gerard Pique also took the microphone at the event to address the supporters in attendance.

"This has been a difficult year, but we have achieved the objectives and we are very happy," Pique said.

Barca beat Sevilla after extra time despite seeing Javier Mascherano dismissed in the first half, although Ever Banega was red-carded for Sevilla in injury time at the end of the 90 minutes and Unai Emery's side also saw Daniel Carrico dismissed before Neymar added the second goal in the final moments.

In his speech, Pique referenced a feeling raised by Barca's critics that his team often benefit from opponents being harshly sent off, most recently when Atletico Madrid's Fernando Torres was sent off in April's Champions League quarterfinal first leg at the Camp Nou.

"One other thing for those who complain because we often play against 10," he said. "This time it was us who played with 10 yesterday. And what happened? We won again. Visca el Barcelona y Visca Catalunya."

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan

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