Barcelona to sign Neymar for £75m

Barca are set to sign Brazilian star Neymar to the club’s squad for the start of the 2017/18 season, according to Sky sources.

The 25-year-old, who scored 28 goals in 48 appearances for Brazil last term, is set to join the club on a free transfer this summer.

He was named the player of the year at Brazil’s Copa América final, but the Brazilian star was left out of the squad that was to compete at the 2014 World Cup in Russia.

His move to the Spanish giants is believed to have been approved by the club and the player has been handed his first professional contract in his homeland.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed that Neymar was the first player to sign a new contract with the club, but did not offer a reason for his departure.

“Neymar will be the most important player for us for the next five years, he will be one of the best in the world,” he said in a press conference on Tuesday.

“We’re delighted that Neym will be joining Barca.

He is a player who is going to change the face of football in Brazil and for us he will have a big role.”

The Brazilian star has scored 29 goals in 47 games for Brazil in all competitions since joining the club in 2013.

He also starred for the country at the 2016 Copa America, winning the Golden Boot award for the tournament.

The Brazilian is a target for several top clubs in the Premier League, with Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City also interested in the player.

Barca are in the market for a new striker and are looking at the likes of Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Manchester United’s Ed Woodward as possible replacements.

Neymas departure leaves Barcelona without a striker and a defensive option in the position of Sergio Busquets, who has been out of action since December following knee surgery.

Nicolás Suarez has been given a three-month loan deal by the Catalan giants but he has been criticised for failing to provide a consistent amount of attacking threats in La Liga this term.

Naymar has been a key part of Barca’s attacking threat since his arrival from Santos in 2014 and is currently one of Europe’s top scorers, with 31 goals in 58 games.