It looks like Neymar is heading to Spain…
Futbol Club Barcelona has agreed to a five-year-deal worth a reported $36.12 million with the 21-year-old Brazilian striker, wooing him away from his club in Brazil, Santos.
“FC Barcelona and Santos have agreed terms for Neymar. The 21-year old is one of the most promising footballers on the planet,” said FC Barcelona in a statement.
“On Monday, I sign a contract with Barcelona. I want to thank the fans of Santos by these incredible nine years,” wrote Neymar on Instagram.
The statement in Portuguese added: “My feeling for the club and the fans will never change. Titles, goals, dribbling, celebrations and songs that fans created for me will be forever in my heart.
Neymar had been considering his future after Santos revealed they had accepted two offers for their star player, with Barcelona confirmed as one of the bidders and Real Madrid widely assumed to be the other.
His contract with Santos was due to expire at the end of next season.
Neymar will say goodbye to the Santos fans at Sunday’s season-opening game against Flamengo before joining Barcelona after the Confederations Cup, which starts in Brazil on June 15 and finishes on June 30.
The signing ends years of speculation about which team would be the first to persuade the player to make the move to Europe.
As well as Real Madrid, he has also been linked with Chelsea and Manchester United since making his debut for Santos in 2009.
Neymar led Santos to their greatest run since Pele stopped playing for the club in the 1970s, helping the team win the 2010 Brazilian Cup, the 2011 Copa Libertadores and three straight Sao Paulo state championships.
He’s the club’s leading scorer in the post-Pele era with 138 goals in 229 matches.
Neymar is also considered Brazil’s key player for the 2014 World Cup.