Barca pay $71 million for 20 y.o.
Mon July 16, 2012 4:34pm
BARCELONA has reportedly won the race to sign Brazilian sensation Neymar by securing a $71 million deal for the striker.
The Catalan club is hopeful of bringing Neymar to the Camp Nou after the Olympic Games although it is unlikely he will move before the 2013-14 season, Brazilian website Intereconomia reported.
The 20-year-old is currently contracted with Brazilian club Santos until the 2014 World Cup.
Barcelona is understood to have made a down-payment for the star which guarantees his transfer to the reigning FIFA Club World Cup champion.
News of the deal follows calls from former Brazil international strikers Ronaldo and Rivaldo for Neymar to join a European club to fulfill his potential.
The reported deal ends the hopes of Chelsea, Juventus and Real Madrid, which have also expressed their interest in the starlet.
The deal is the third biggest transfer fee in the history of the sport.
Biggest transfer fees in history
Christiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid (2009)- $121 million
Zinedine Zidane to Real Madrid (2001)- $80 million
Neymar (if deal is confirmed) to Barcelona (2012)- $71 million
Luis Figo (2000) to Real Madrid- $44 million
Hernan Crespo to Lazio (2000)- $41 million