Barcelona have managed to pull off a transfer coup by signing highly rated Brazilian youngster Neymar on a five-year contract. The Santos striker is widely regarded as one of the hottest young players in world football.

He has been linked with almost every major club in the world like Chelsea, Manchester United, and Real Madrid. He was expected to cost in excess of £ 40 million after helping Santos to major success over the last few years. Despite being only 21 years of age, the striker has already made more than 200 appearances for the Brazilian club since joining more than nine years ago.

However, he will be closing a big chapter in his career after sealing a move to the Catalan club on a five-year contract. Barcelona and Santos have not revealed the transfer fees, but it is thought to be in the region of £ 25 million. Even though he was valued much higher only recently, the fact that he has just one year left on his contract left Santos with no other option but to sell him for much lower than his transfer value. Real Madrid were in the bidding process until the final moment. Their president Florentino Perez has said that the cost did not work out for them.

"On Monday I'm signing a contract with Barcelona. My family and friends already know about my decision... I want to thank Santos' fans for these nine incredible years. My feelings for the club and the fans will never change. Titles, goals, dribbles, celebrations and the songs the fans created for me will always be in my heart. This is a different moment for me, sad (departure) and happy (new challenge). God bless me in my choices. I made a point of playing tomorrow's match in Brasilia," said Neymar.