According to reports in Spain, the going rate for Barcelona target Neymar has suddenly jumped: Marca is claiming that Santos wants $76 million for its star player, which
is $25 million more than Barca thought it would have to pay when it started negotiations with Santos two years ago. The report claims that club director Raul Sanllehí has
traveled to Brazil to try to negotiate a lower fee, but Santos isn't budging.
Neymar’s price increase has reportedly put other wealthy European clubs on alert, including Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea. However, Delcir Sonda, head of the investment group DIS that owns 40 percent of Neymar’s rights, has said “a lot will have to change” to prevent the Brazil international from joining Barca. Sonda pointed out that the Catalan club already signed a pre-contract with the 22-year-old in 2011, paying nearly $13 million up front.
“There would have to be a huge change and for Barcelona to hardly try at all for him to play anywhere else,” Sonda said, adding: “They have to realize that we are in the frame with 40 percent, and I have said this to [Barca President] Sandro Rosell twice.”
What’s unclear at this point is whether the $76 million that Santos wants would cover DIS’ 40 percent share in the player. If not, Barca might have to shell out twice as much.