Neymar will join Barcelona next summer, according to reports in Spain.
The Brazilian superstar is currently excelling for hometown club Santos but has long been linked with a move to Europe.
It had been thought that he would remain in Brazil until after the 2014 World Cup, which is to be held in the country, but Sport newspaper claim that he will head to the Nou Camp next summer.
The newspaper believe that Barcelona President Sandro Rossell has negotiated a contract with Santos where they would be liable to pay a fine of £31.85m (€40m) if Neymar moves elsewhere.
They claim the clause could have been tested by Paris Saint Germain, who enquired about Neymar’s availability this summer.
But the French giants were immediately rebuffed, as it seems Neymar has set his sights on a move to Barcelona despite interest from Real Madrid.
Brazilian striker Neymar one of the hottest properties in world football, considered in his homeland to be Brazil’s answer to Lionel Messi.
The 20-year-old has been on the radar of Europe’s top clubs for the best part of three years already but has been remarkably patient in his willingness to stay in Brazil and develop with Santos.
The decision has paid off thus far, with Neymar establishing himself as a key part of Brazil’s senior squad and impressively leading the line at this summer’s Olympics.
It has often been assumed that Neymar would reamain in Brazil until after the 2014 World Cup but according to the source, the forward will make a big-money move to Barcelona next summer, giving him one season with the finest team in the world before spearheading his country’s attack on the biggest of footballing stages.
Bizarrely, the source doesn’t mention a first-option, a transfer fee or a gentlemen’s agreement between Barca and Santos but does make reference to a collossal ‘fine’ of £32m which Santos will presumably have to pay the Catalan giants if Neymar moves elsewhere.
This is most probably in place because the only other destination likely for the youngster is Real Madrid. While Premier League outfits Man City and Chelsea could undoubtedly afford Neymar, it has long been considered that the player will choose between one of the Spanish duo.
And it looks as if Barca are the ones likely to get their man. Just imagine Neymar and Messi leading the attack. Wow.
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