Neymar Ends Lengthy Speculation Trail with £24 Million Move to Barcelona

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterMay 26, 2013

Neymar has ended one of the longest-running transfer speculation stories by confirming his intention to sign for Barcelona.

The 21-year-old has agreed to join the Camp Nou side, despite reported interest from La Liga rivals Real Madrid.

The Brazil international is now expected to sign a five-year deal with Barcelona on Monday after a fee of £24 million was agreed with Santos, as Pilar Suarez of reported.

The speculation frenzy over where Neymar will go this summer has produced one of the lengthiest transfer stories in recent times.

The mercurial Brazilian has been linked with Barcelona for several months, but Bayern Munich were also credited with an interest in the player.

And Neymar, who was in London for Brazil's friendly defeat to England in February, voiced his interest in playing for the Bundesliga side, as Graeme Yorke of the Daily Mail reported.

Rumours that Neymar would link up with former Barca coach Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena next season were given credence when former Santos vice president Vicente Cascione claimed the player was on the way to Bayern, as reported by Stefan Coerts of

Real Madrid made a late bid to derail Neymar's move to Barcelona, as the Daily Telegraph claimed, but the player has decided to link up with players such as Lionel Messi in La Liga next season.

Chelsea and Manchester City had also been credited with an interest in Neymar while the saga continued to unfold in recent months, according to Jack Wilson of the Daily Express.