Neymar’s father has warned Real Madrid and any other potential suitors that the Barcelona star could cost up to a staggering €430million.
The Brazil international’s future was the subject of intense speculation for much of the past year, with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United both claimed by agent Wagner Ribeiro to have launched huge bids for the player.
Madrid were also linked with an interest before Neymar finally signed a new five-year contract with Barca last month, bringing to an end the rumours over his immediate future.
Neymar Snr says the 24-year-old never had any desire to quit Camp Nou and is unlikely to consider any future offer, even if a club comes forward with a world-record bid.
“The offers didn’t reach him; they came to me,” he told Mundo Deportivo when asked about the bids. “I know what Neymar wanted, and that was to stay.
“I receive a lot of people in my office in Barcelona. Of course, some of them come to know if Neymar has a future at another club.
“But I’m very clear on this: to try to get him out of Barcelona, you have to try to take away the happiness that he has here.
“If he wanted to go after a financial benefit, everyone knows he would not be at Barca. But Neymar is happy at the club, he has made very strong friendships with his team-mates.
“Madrid were interested through intermediaries and I always told everyone the same: you would have to pay the release clause of €190million, plus the taxes on that, and with all the rest it could end up being close to €430m.”
Neymar will face team-mate Lionel Messi on Thursday when Brazil take on Argentina in a key World Cup qualifier in Belo Horizonte.
His father says the former Santos star will relish the chance to meet Messi as an opponent, though he is eager for the 29-year-old to sign his own Barca extension so they can continue to claim success at club level.
“Neymar likes to compete against his friends, but he loves Messi, as he loves [Luis] Suarez,” he said.
“Messi and Ney are competitive boys, in love with football. There are certain players who should be unforgettable.
“Hopefully he’ll renew for many years. There are lots of people who always ask us about being the number one and everything. We already have a number one, which is Messi, and we have to help him so that he’s always number one.
“Now it’s the time for Neymar to prepare himself, to mature. They are together to take Barca to the top. It’s already a great honour for him to have been alongside Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as a finalist for the last Ballon d’Or.”
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