LaLiga: Neymar signs new Barcelona deal

Nearly four months on from agreeing a contract extension at Barcelona, Neymar has finally put pen to paper on a bumper agreement at Camp Nou.

The fresh terms will take the Brazilian through to 2021 and push him into a bracket shared by world soccer’s top earners.

He will, however, still be operating in the shadow of his illustrious teammate, Lionel Messi – financially, at least.

The current holder of the Ballon d’Or continues to operate at a different level to many of his contemporaries, and it is for that reason that he is handsomely rewarded for his efforts.

Neymar, though, is set to join the elite on the pay front, with his new deal set to earn him 18 million euros ($19.6M) through the 2016-17 campaign, with his salary then rising steadily to €25 million by 2018.

He will also see his release clause initially set at €200 million ($217.6M), before that too is increased to €250 million ($271.9M) over the course of the contract – with Barca doing all it can to keep a prized asset out of the clutches of a rival.

While those figures are impressive enough, they still fall some way short of matching Messi, with the mercurial Argentine set to earn €42 million ($45.7M) in each of the next two seasons – the four-year, €32M-a-season deal he penned in 2014 having been broken up slightly to become top heavy in the final two years.

Messi is, however, 29 years of age, and will be into his thirties by the time any renewal is considered, while Neymar is only 24 and will expect to see his value increase further over the coming years.

He will also be aware that he could have earned more elsewhere, and could do in the future, but forming part of an ambitious sporting project at Barca is of greater importance to him right now.
Challenging for major honours at home and abroad is something he could not guarantee were he to seek a switch elsewhere, and it is those factors which have ultimately convinced him that Catalunya remains the perfect place for him at this stage of his career.
Sporting News

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