Barcelona want to keep Neymar for rest of career

Rio de Janeiro, April 3 (IANS) FC Barcelona are planning to keep Neymar in their ranks until the end of his career, the Catalan football club’s president Jose Bartomeu has said.

Bartomeu confirmed the club would meet with the Brazilian at the end of the season to discuss an extension to his current contract, which expires in 2018, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Barcelona are not rushing,” Bartomeu was quoted as telling the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper on Saturday.

“We are not putting any pressure on him. At the end of the season we will sit down and talk about the future. I know there won’t be any problems.”

“He has already said that he wants to stay. Our plan is to have him here until the end of his career.”

Meanwhile, Bartomeu confirmed Neymar would be free to represent Brazil at the Rio Olympic in August, but he ruled out the 24-year-old participation at the Copa America in June.

“We don’t have any problem with Neymar playing the Olympics,” he said. “Barcelona would be delighted. I think (the Games) are the cause of great pride for the country. I’m not the coach of Brazil but if I were I would take him.”

“To convince Barcelona that he should play in both (the Copa America and Olympics) will be impossible. We are conscious of the Copa America’s importance but we believe the players need a rest after two busy seasons,” Bartomeu concluded.

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