Well today we learnt that the ESPN story was wrong as Neymar announced that he will stay at Santos until at least 2014.
“I’m very happy, it’s another decision I’m taking in my life, a family decision,” Neymar told a news conference where he was handed a Santos shirt with the number 2014 on it by club president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira. “There was interest (from other clubs) but my father didn’t tell me about any concrete offers. I always said I wanted to stay here.”
Santos president De Oliveira said Neymar was tired of speculation about his future.
“Neymar has got tired of being ‘sold’ to Barcelona and Real Madrid in these last months. The truth is he will stay at Santos until 2014,” he said.
To keep the FIFA Ballon d’Or nominee, Santos will make Neymar the highest paid player in Brazil at around 3 million Brazilian real (£1.07 million) per month in salary and sponsorship, or about 20.4 million a year. Previously Ronaldinho had been the highest paid footballer in Brazil at £15.07m per year.
In his previous contract Neymar had a buy-out clause of 45 million euros. This sum was increased in the new contract but Santos did not give details on what it was now.
This is a huge coup for Santos and Brazilian football to put together a package that keeps the best 19-year-old in world football playing in Brazil until at least the 2014 World Cup is held in that country.