After months of speculation, the rumors of Manchester United’s attempt to woo Neymar away from Barcelona got a lot clearer on Friday when the player’s father said the Premier League club actually did make an offer for the 23-year-old. This latest tidbit adds to the information Neymar himself revealed last month: That his camp “had conversations” with Manchester United, but that he was unsure whether a concrete offer was ever made.
Well, Neymar’s dad, who also acts as the player’s agent, said there was a figure on the table, although he didn’t say for how much.
“The offer reached Barcelona and the club contacted us saying they were not going to sell,” Neymar Sr. told Brazilian TV station Boa Tarde Fox (via Sky Sports). “They asked if we were interested, but that wasn’t the case.”
Neymar Sr. went on to assure Barca fans that there’s no need to worry about his son leaving the Spanish squad for England anytime soon.
“Barcelona are not selling, he has three years still to go on his contract,” he said. “It was Manchester’s deal, but that offer is not on the table now, it has fallen through.”
As for Barcelona, team officials there have been very vocal about their intentions to keep their No. 11 around ever since the rumors first surfaced in August.
“He must stay, not just three years, but five or 10 years more,” Barcelona team president Josep Bartomeu told Catalunya Radio (via the Associated Press).
Neymar, too, has expressed his interest in staying with his current club, where he’s part of a super squad of strikers alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, both of whom he considers good friends.
“I want to continue making history in Barcelona,” the Brazilian said in an interview published on Barcelona’s team Web site over the weekend. “I want to win more titles. … I am very happy.”
Neymar is expected to begin talks about a contract extension soon and, surely, Barcelona knowing that there’s at least one team who’d like to snag him won’t hurt Neymar’s negotiation tactics. The star’s current contract, signed in 2013, runs through 2018.